The Sangh Parivar and government today sparred over Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's remarks about "Hindu terrorism", with BJP demanding his sacking and the RSS dubbing him a "darling of real terrorists".
BJP today demanded that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde be sacked over his charge that the party and RSS promoted "Hindu terrorism" and announced a nation-wide protest on January 24 against the controversial remark.
The RSS also joined BJP in stepping up the attack against Shinde, calling him "darling of real terrorists", noting that Pakistan-based
JuD, a terror outfit, has "congratulated" Shinde for the remark made at AICC meet yesterday.
Shinde must be sacked, PM and Sonia should apologise: BJP
Describing Shinde as a "lightweight" Home Minister, BJP Chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded an unconditional apology from Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over Shinde's allegation.
"Sushilkumar Shinde must be sacked and the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi must tender an unconditional apology," Prasad told reporters here.
"The BJP shall not tolerate this repeated insult of Hindu and saffron traditions of India," he said, adding the party has never linked religion with terror as terrorists had no religion.
Prasad said a nation-wide protest will be staged by BJP on January 24 against Shinde's remark.
"Shinde is a lightweight Home minister and is in the habit of speaking lightly. I condemn it strongly, very forcefully. It is a malicious, baseless comment made by a lightweight Home Minister who doesn't know what he is speaking about."
His colleague Arun Jaitley said, "Shinde has to prove what he has said otherwise he has to withdraw the remark or apologise" and charged the Congress with being soft on terrorists.
Shinde has become the darling of real terrorists: RSS
Terming as "unpardonable" Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde linking it with "Hindu terrorism", RSS today alleged he had become a "darling of real terrorists" and was helping the country's "enemies" with such statements.
RSS also charged Shinde with politicising and communalising terrorist incidents in the country and wondered if his remarks were aimed at influencing investigations in the bomb blast cases.
"It is unpardonable. We take strong exception to it," RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said.
He earlier tweeted, "Today Jamat ud Dawa etc congratulated Shinde. Now he has become d (sic) darling of real terrorists. It is Shinde who is helping our enemies by such statements. Now even LeT welcomed his statement I am told."
Madhav said, "the whole world has seen the consequence of this utterly careless and insensitive statement of the Home Minister calling Hindus as terrorists."
He said today the banned terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e -Taiba and Jamat ud Dawa have been
complimenting Shinde for his statement and wished he becomes Home Minister of the country where such organisations flourished.
"The Minister and his party have a lot of explanation to do. The whole country has been greatly offended," Madhav said.
"It is very shocking that holding such a high constitutional position and trying to promote enmity between religious communities in a country by invoking such phrases as Hindu terrorism," he said.
The RSS spokesperson said the Home Minister's statement amounted to communalising terrorist incidents and politicising bomb blast investigations and influencing them.
"This is now utter politics. This is actually communalising terrorist incidents in the country...It is all politicising bomb blast investigations in the country. I believe that the (remark of the) Home Minister is actually intended to influence the investigations that are going on in the bomb blast cases," he said.
He also criticised Congressmen like Digvijay Singh and Mani Shankar Aiyar for supporting Shinde's remarks and said he was not surprised at their action "as they lend respect to terrorists and disrespect nationalists".
BJP's response reflects its guilt: Govt
The government hit back saying the BJP's response reflected its "guilt" and said the opposition party was trying to divert the attention from the internal wranglings within it.
Union Minister Kamal Nath said, "the BJP's response is the response of guilt" and an attempt to divert the attention from the party's internal
Coming to Shinde's defence, AICC general secretary
Digvijay Singh, a known RSS baiter, said what he has been saying for the past several years has been proved right after the Home Minister's comments on RSS and
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.