Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the Leader of the Opposition, Rahul Gandhi, after the latter took a swipe at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha on Monday, saying those who call themselves Hindus are engaged in “violence and hate” round the clock. PM Modi reacted to Rahul Gandhi’s attack and said, “Calling the entire Hindu community violent is very serious.”

During his address, Rahul Gandhi took on the BJP and said, “Hinduism is not about spreading fear, hatred and falsehoods.”

Rahul Gandhi cited Islam and Sikhism to underline that one should be fearless. “If you look at Lord Shiva’s image, you would know that Hindus can never spread fear, hatred, but BJP spreads fear, hatred 24X7,” Gandhi said, holding an image of Lord Shiva in his hand.

“PM Modi says that (Mahatma) Gandhi is dead and Gandhi was revived by a movie. Can you understand the ignorance?… Another thing I noticed is that it is not just one religion that talks about courage. All religions talk about courage,” Rahul Gandhi stated.

The Congress MP’s words drew massive protests from the members of the treasury benches. Rahul Gandhi’s dig at the BJP that it does not represent all Hindus and the jab at the ruling party by citing the essence of different religions had the members of the treasury benches on their feet.

Rahul Gandhi, however, retorted that he was speaking about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or Modi are not the entire Hindu society, he added.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also rallied behind Modi’s statement and said, “Rahul Gandhi must apologise for his remarks painting all Hindus as violent.” The BJP MP invoked the Emergency, 1984 anti-Sikh riots to assert that Rahul Gandhi has “no right to talk about non-violence”.

Rahul Gandhi also alleged that he was ‘attacked’ following the prime minister’s instruction, the order of the Government of India. He accused the BJP of launching systematic attacks on the Constitution and India’s fundamental ideas, noting that millions of people have resisted the ideas proposed by the ruling party.

The Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi, said, “I was attacked by the order of the Government of India, by the order of the Prime Minister of India…The most enjoyable part of it was the 55 hours of interrogation by the ED.”