New Delhi: Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad on Wednesday said the government narrative would have been "different" had Chhota Rajan and ULFA leader Anup Chetia been Muslims, evoking sharp response from the BJP.
"Thankfully, Chhota Rajan and (extradited ULFA leader) Anup Chetia are not Muslims. Had they been Muslims, (Narendra) Modi government would have a different narrative altogether," Ahmad tweeted.
The comment drew flak from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which accused the Congress of propagating communal politics.
"Bringing religion in everything, as Shakeel Ahmad did, is the policy of the Congress. I always say the Congress is the most communal party in the country," BJP leader and union minister Prakash Javadekar said.
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli questioned if it was the official line of the Congress.
"You have Mani Shankar Aiyar and his outrageous comments in Pakistan and now Shakeel Ahmad. Is this the official line of the Congress party? And such senior leaders and still no response from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi," he said.
Another BJP spokesperson, Sambit Patra, called it a "shameless comment".
"Shakeel Ahmad, who is a tall leader of the Congress, has made a very appalling comment. It's a shameless comment and it's not in good taste at all," Patra said.
"The Congress has divided the society for petty political gains on the lines of Hindus and Muslims. It has created vote banks in the society and today it is trying its best to divide even terrorism in the name of religion," he said.
As his remarks raked up a row, Ahmad clarified saying he was simply trying to expose the "double standards and double speak" of the BJP and Modi government on the issue of terror.
"Had they been Muslims, the BJP would have said that Congress government or UPA government did not arrest them and did not bring them back to the country simply because they were Muslims. They would have said that the Congress and UPA were thus trying to do vote-bank politics. That is why I said that," Ahmad said.
Congress leaders too tried to defend Ahmad.
Party leader Girija Vyas said: "Possibly, he meant terror is terror and has no religion."