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Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani sniffs chance in bid on RSS

New Delhi, June 1: The attempted attack on the Sangh’s headquarters has given its out-of-favour son another chance to try and get back into its good books.

Lal Krishna Advani today claimed terrorists struck the Nagpur complex because the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the “fountainhead of patriotism” in India. He then went on to glorify the RSS, which had literally pushed him out of the BJP chief’s office earlier this year.

Advani had angered the Sangh because he praised Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and has been trying to normalise relations with the parent organisation but without much headway. Today’s incident came as another opportunity.

So even before Sangh chief K.S. Sudarshan came up with an official response, Advani had summoned the electronic media. “I don’t see it as an ordinary development,” he said.

“The RSS has been on the terrorists’ list of targets for a long time because it is the fountainhead of patriotism in India. Even in 2001, we gathered intelligence that a similar strike was being planned. This led to the neutralisation of a terror group near Mumbai at the time.”

Advani then targeted the Congress-led government for its “soft” approach towards terrorism and attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his comment in Srinagar about “zero tolerance” of custodial killings.

The former BJP chief was matched in fervour only by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, another out-of-favour son, who announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for the policemen who thwarted the attack.

The RSS, however, seemed to play down the incident. Former spokesperson Ram Madhav condemned the attack but praised the police for quick action. Sudarshan later appealed to RSS volunteers not to get provoked.

Another Sangh outfit ' the Vishwa Hindu Parishad ' was up in arms though. “Pakistan encourages attacks on religious places. Now is the time for India to warn Pakistan. If they don’t agree, we should snap all diplomatic ties. If even that does not work, we should go to war,” said VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore.

Cowardly act: Sonia

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said the aborted attack was an “act of cowardice aimed at destroying peace and unity”.

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