New Delhi: Taking over as the president of Bharatiya Janata Party, Rajnath Singh on Wednesday condemned Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's statement on Hindu terror and announced a nationwide protest from Thursday.
Addressing the AICC meeting in Jaipur on Sunday, Shinde had alleged that the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were running training camps to promote Hindu terrorism. "We have got an investigation report that be it RSS or BJP, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism. We are keeping a strict vigil on all this," he had said adding that, "Whether it is Samjhauta blast or Mecca Masjid blast or Malegaon blast, they plant bombs and blame it on the minorities."
The Union Minister, however, was immediately made to explain his statement by the Congress leadership. Defending his remarks, Shinde had said that he was referring to Saffron terrorism which has already been talked about by media at various occasions.
While the Congress tried to distance itself from Shinde's remark, Union Home Secretary RK Singh added fuel to the fire on Tuesday when he said that at least 10 people, who were allegedly involved in a spate of terror attacks in different parts of the country, had links with the RSS or its affiliated organisations.
In an attempt to cover up for Shinde, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi had said that the party never uses words like "Hindu terror or saffron terror". He added that the Home Minister's remarks appeared to be a slip of tongue as he was talking about the probe into the Malegaon and Mecca Masjid blasts in which people associated with organisations close to the RSS have been arrested. The Home Minister followed the suit and said that he fully agree with the AICC clarification.
The Congress's efforts, however, failed to convince the BJP which said that it was pained by the comments. BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said Shinde's comments would work as an encouragement to Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed. "Shinde's remarks have made the people in Pakistan and the terrorists happy while Indians here are unhappy with the statement. Shinde has succeeded in giving voice to Pakistan," Hussain said.
The RSS, meanwhile, demanded that Shinde should apologise for making "unacceptable and irresponsible comments". "The remarks are extremely insulting and he must tender an apology...terrorism has no colour, it should not be linked to Hindus," RSS propaganda chief Manmohan Vaidya said in Mumbai on Tuesday. The Sangh is likely to press charges against Shinde and RK Singh.