In a scathing attack on Sushilkumar Shinde over his "Hindu terror" remarks,
BJP president Rajnath Singh has said the Home Minister had hurt India’s image by
his comments and dared him to ban the RSS and BJP and arrest all their leaders
if there was any evidence against these organisations.
Questioning the silence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President
Sonia Gandhi over the remarks, the BJP chief made it clear that his party will
continue its "oust-Shinde" campaign even in the Budget Session of Parliament
expected to begin in the third week of next month.
"If, as Home Minister, you think that the RSS and BJP are churning out
terrorists, then we have also attended such training camps. Are we also
terrorists? Do you consider us terrorists? Then put us also in jail," Singh told
PTI in an interview while reacting sharply to Shinde’s comments.
In a poser to the Home Minister, the BJP leader said, "If you consider the RSS
and BJP to be terrorist organizations, why don’t you ban them? If you have
evidence against them, why don’t you reveal that evidence?"
At the Congress Chintan Shivir in Jaipur recently, Shinde had accused the RSS
and BJP of promoting terrorists at their training camps.
Singh alleged that Shinde had made the comments because of vote-bank politics.
Asked about Home Secretary R K Singh citing certain names in connection with the
bombings in support of "Hindu terror" remarks of Shinde, Singh said the RSS is a
big organization and someone may have sometimes attended a camp.
"That doesn’t mean the entire organization is a terrorist organization.
It is possible that such a person may have been associated in the past with the
Congress also. The law should take its course against those held guilty. But the
whole organization should not be held responsible for isolated acts of a few.
Even in a family when someone commits a crime, you don’t call the entire family
criminal," the BJP chief said.
Noting that Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed had utilized Shinde’s remarks to
target India, he said it was unfortunate that the comments of Indian Home
Minister is being supported by the head of a terrorist organization in Pakistan
and the Government is maintaining silence.
"Hafiz Saeed, who heads the JUD, has tried to tell the whole world that India is
a terrorist state. Hasn’t India’s image suffered a setback at the international
level?" Rajnath Singh said as he termed the "silence" of the Prime Minister and
Sonia Gandhi as "unfortunate".
"We have asked the PM to express regret over Shinde’s statement and withdraw it.
He and Sonia Gandhi have maintained silence. If the PM cannot speak up when the
reputation of the country is on the line, then when will he speak? And if
Congress President doesn’t react to an issue concerning India’s image, then when
will she react?” Rajnath Singh asked.
He said agencies of the whole world are saying that LeT and other terrorist
organizations were behind the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blasts but the Indian Home
Minister is saying that the RSS and BJP are behind these.
"Home Minister’s statement which has dimmed India’s global reputation has been
made solely with vote bank politics in mind. The Congress is not concerned if
such remarks dent country’s reputation and its image globally. They are
concerned with only one thing – somehow they should retain power. They are
playing vote bank politics," he said.
Contending that the remarks reflected Congress’ "desperation", the BJP chief
said politics should not be played just because they want their government to be
formed again as the actual role of a political party is nation building.
Asked what options the BJP had on the issue, Singh said the party would raise
the matter prominently both outside and inside Parliament during the forthcoming
"We don’t want to disrupt parliamentary proceedings. But we will confront the
Government on this issue of national pride, and corruption. The responsibility
of running Parliament smoothly lies with the ruling party. The opposition
parties, acting as watchdogs on the Government, expect that the questions they
raise related to country’s reputation are answered satisfactorily," he said.
Accusing the Home Minister of undermining national pride with his remarks, Singh
said, "It is very unfortunate. What will happen if our PM and ruling party
chairperson do not speak on issues concerning national pride."
Singh said not just the Hindus but nationalist Muslims had also criticised
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