RSS, BJP camps promoting Hindu terror: Sushilkumar Shinde
JAIPUR/ NEW DELHI: Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has accused the BJP and the RSS of fanning Hindu terrorism, a charge which drew angry reaction from both of them.
"Reports have come during investigation that BJP and RSS conduct terror training camps to spread terrorism... Bombs were planted in Samjhauta express, Mecca Masjid and also a blast was carried out in Malegaon.
"We will have to think about it seriously and will have to remain alert," Shinde said at the AICC meeting in Jaipur on Sunday.
As his remarks were slammed by RSS and BJP which termed them as "dangerous" and accused Congress of indulging in "destructive politics", Shinde stuck to his stand, saying, "This has come so many times in the papers... It is not a new thing that I have said today.
"This is saffron terrorism that I have talked about. It is the same thing and nothing new. It has come in the media several times," the home minister said.
To a question if it was Hindu terrorism or saffron terrorism, he said, "This is saffron terrorism (that) I have stated."
Charging Congress with having a "destructive mindset which was reflected in the home minister's statement", BJP said it was "very objectionable". "It is not only unacceptable but dangerous also," party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
"There cannot be anything worse that the country's home minister giving such an objectionable statement to disrupt peace and harmony of the country," Naqvi told reporters in Delhi.
Terming RSS as a "nationalist organisation", the BJP leader said, "Sonia Gandhi should apologise. Rahul Gandhi and home minister should also apologise, otherwise there will be serious consequences. This is not accepted. Such baseless things when said by home minister amounts to giving clean chit to real terrorists."
"Sometimes I feel that Congress has become a group of cowards (kayaron ki jamaat). I am terming Congress as a group of cowards because repeated terror strikes are happening in the country, terrorists are mushrooming here.
"They abolished the tool to fight terrorism," he said in an apparent reference to scrapping of POTA.
Attacking the home minister, RSS spokesman Ram Madhav described his statement as "highly irresponsible" and said he had made the remarks only to please his party bosses.
"If a Congress leader had said something like this it wouldn't have mattered that much, but if the home minister of the country is saying something like this, it is highly irresponsible. This is all about playing votebank politics," he said. : Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Sunday sparked a major political controversy saying RSS and BJP were promoting Hindu terror.
Speaking during Congress's Chintar Shivir at Jaipur, Shinde said: "We have reports that RSS, BJP camps are promoting Hindu terror in the country."
He alleged that RSS was behind Samjhauta, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts.
While senior Congress leader Rajiv Shukla clarified the statement made by the union minister, the BJP hit back, saying Shinde's statement could dent the communal peace in the country.
Terming Shinde's comment as most unfortunate and condemnable, BJP spokesperson, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: "Instead of warning Pakistan for supporting terrorism in India, Congress in trying to malign the BJP."
"Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi must apologise for Shinde's statement," Naqvi said.
Standing by Shinde's comment, senior Congress leader Manishankar Aiyar said the minister has underlined an open secret.
Later, speaking to reporters, Shinde justified his remarks and said he has only pointed out what had been said in newspapers on several occasions. However, he did clarified that he meant 'saffron terrorism.'