The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have avoided saying that 80% gau rakshaks (cow protectors) are fake, reported The Indian Express. The right-wing organisation said they have always supported the cause of the cow protection groups.

On Saturday, Modi had condemned the self-styled gau rakshaks, and said " opportunistic people are trying to poison social harmony in the name of cow protection". Addressing the audience on the event of the second anniversary of his MyGov initiative, he had said, "70%-80% are involved in activities that have no place in society and they, therefore, don the mantle of gau rakshaks to hide their ills."

Sangh spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said, “The 80% remark should have been avoided but the PM later made amends at Hyderabad, saying only a handful of so-called gau rakshaks were fake." He was referring to Modi's statement the day after when he reiterated his stand on gau rakshaks and the growing incidents of cow vigilantism in the country. At the time, he had said there are a handful of such elements.

About the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's reaction to Modi's statements, Vaidya said all RSS-inspired organisations are autonomous, and hence they have the right to express their views in their independent capacity.

The prime minister's statement came in the wake of the Una incident where Dalit men were flogged for skinning a dead cow in Modi's home state. The July 13 incident sparked protests across the state and attracted criticism from all quarters.