New Delhi/Ujjain: The caste violence in Maharashtra rocked Parliament on Wednesday even as the RSS rubbished the Congress charge it was fuelling the clashes over which the opposition party also flayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "silence" on the matter.
As a political war of words erupted over the simmering caste tensions in BJP-ruled Maharashtra both inside and outside Parliament, the ruling party also hit back and accused the Congress of trying to play politics over the matter.
Rejecting the Congress charge, the RSS sought to blame caste violence in Maharashtra on a "breaking India brigade" which, it said, had raised anti-national slogans at the JNU in Delhi in 2016 and was now trying to divide the Hindu society.
"The 'breaking India brigade' chanted slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016 that India will be shattered into pieces. It wants to divide the country on religious and caste lines. It wants to divide the Hindu society. The Sangh castigates it," RSS spokesman Manmohan Vaidya told reporters in Ujjain.
In the Lok Sabha, the Congress accused the RSS and certain Hindutva outfits of triggering violence against Dalits in Maharashtra and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "silence" over the clashes. It also demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge.
"The RSS and certain hardcore Hindutva outfits are behind the violence. They are trying to drive a wedge between the Marathas and Dalits in Maharashtra," Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge alleged.
A visibly anguished Kharge also tore some papers he was holding when BJP members vociferously protested his remarks and continued to shout.
"Why is PM Narendra Modi silent on the issue? He always maintains silence on issues relating to Dalits. He has become a 'Mouni Baba' on Dalit issues," he said.
Kharge's comments triggered an angry response from BJP MPs, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar refuting the charges.