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Jan 24, 2013 at 05:42pm IST

Sonia, PM must apologise and sack Shinde for terror remarks: Rajnath

New Delhi: Newly elected President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rajnath Singh, on Thursday threatened to disrupt Parliament's Budget Session if Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is not sacked for alleging that the BJP and RSS have been running terror camps. Demanding an apology form Shinde, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rajnath Singh said, "This Home Minister has no right to stay in his post."

Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN, Rajnath said the Home Minister's comments have hurt India's image. Shinde alleged that RSS and BJP training camps were promoting Hindu terror and cited Samjhauta, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts as example. However, Shinde later clarified and said his comments were aimed at "saffron terror".

Meanwhile, Rajnath also sought an explanation and apology from UPA chief Sonia Gandhi for Shinde's statement. "We will protest till Shinde is sacked. If there is no action taken, we will fight it in Parliament. The government should give a statement in Parliament about Shinde's remarks," he said.

Speaking about the trouble within the party, Rajnath said the reason why Gadkari "opted out" of the party presidential poll is because Gadkari was hurt with the way allegations were levelled against him. Rajnath added, "It was Gadkari's decision not to contest. We had urged Gadkari to contest as there were no concrete charges against him."

Quashing rumours of any conspiracy within the party, Rajnath said, "This was not a conspiracy within the BJP. Infact, BJP is defamed as per a well planned conspiracy by our political opponents." Meanwhile, speaking on the difference of opinions within the top brass of the party, Rajnath said, "BJP may have differences due to any issue but we have internal democracy."

Choosing not to comment on the BJP PM candidate, Rajnath said, "I cannot say directly who will be projected as the PM candidate in 2014 - this matter is decided in Parliamentary board." How ever, he made it clear that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi continues to enjoy popularity within the party. "Modi is a very popular leader," said Rajnath.

Talking about the crisis in Karnataka, Rajnath said, "Karnataka government will complete the full tenure. I have spoken to the current Chief Minister and he is confident of staying in power. No proposal of bringing back BS Yeddyurappa back."