India has a history of communal tension between majority Hindus and minority Muslims, and critics say several political parties play on that tension to win votes. In 2002, human rights groups estimated that about 2,500 people, most of them Muslims, were killed in riots in western Gujarat state. According to a leaked cable, Rahul Gandhi told the US ambassador that radical Hindu groups could pose a bigger threat than the militants who attacked Mumbai in 2008. Radical Hindu groups, some with ties to the BJP or the BJPs more extreme groups, have been linked to bomb attacks against Muslim targets. Gandhi warned, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community. The controversy adds to the woes of the ruling Congress party to which Gandhi belongs, which is already fighting to contain the damage from a series of setbacks including corruption scandals, high food prices and poor results in state elections. MURAD MAQSOOD, Islamabad, January 20.