The BJP on Thursday accused Congress President Rahul Gandhi of belittling India in his address at an event in Germany, alleging that the Congress leader justified terrorism and “lied through his teeth” to attack the PM Modi-led government.

Addressing a gathering at the Bucerius Summer School in Hamburg on Wednesday, Gandhi had cited the example of Islamic State to say exclusion of a large number of people from the development process could lead to creation of terrorist groups in the world.

He went on to accuse the BJP government of excluding tribals, Dalits and minorities from the development narrative and “this could be a dangerous thing”.

Talking to reporters at the party headquarters in New Delhi, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “Rahul Gandhi has behaved like Rahul Gandhi once again.”

Hitting back at the accusations made by the Congress leader, Patra said, “Rahul Gandhi left no opportunity to belittle India and to present it in a bad light. We need explanations from you.”

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Gandhi has tried to justify terrorism and give justification for IS, he said. “There cannot be anything more frightening and worrying,” he told reporters.

The BJP spokesperson said Gandhi’s submission was that minorities in India would “sell their soul” to IS if jobs were not available for them, and this amounted to “denigrating” the community.

The Congress chief “lied through his teeth” in accusing the Modi government of striking down a law on atrocities against Dalits and tribals, Patra said, pointing out that Parliament had in fact made the legislation more stringent by passing an amendment in its latest session.

Gandhi, who is on a four-day tour of Europe, addressed a gathering in Hamburg, a German city, and claimed that when people were excluded from the process of development, they would resort to hate and violence.

“It is very dangerous in the 21st century to exclude people. If you don’t give people a vision in the 21st century somebody else will give them one,” he said.

He added that the NDA government “feel[s] that tribal communities, poor farmers, lower caste people, minorities shouldn’t get the same benefits as the elite”.

(With agency inputs)