Posted On Monday, January 21, 2013 at 09:03:16 AM
|HE SAID IT: Shinde, Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh at AICC meet in Jaipur on Sunday
Jaipur - Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Sunday accused the BJP and RSS of conducting terror training camps and promoting “Hindu terrorism”, drawing angry reactions from the saffron groups. On the last day of Congress’s Chintan Shivir, Shinde claimed that investigations into Samjhuata Express and Malegaon blasts had revealed the involvement of right-wing groups.
“We are trying to bring peace in this country; we are taking steps against injustice to minorities as also against infiltration. But, in the midst of all this, we have got an investigation report that be it the RSS or BJP, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism,” the home minister said.
He added: “Bombs were planted in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid (in Hyderabad) and also a blast was carried out in Malegaon. We will have to think about it seriously and will have to remain alert.” The Congress leader said that saffron terrorism was common knowledge now. “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,” he said. The BJP and its ideological parent, the Sangh, slammed the remarks and demanded an apology from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. “Saffron is the antonym of terrorism. Saffron is the symbol of our traditions, culture, renunciation and sacrifices. The home minister must apologise to the nation,” said senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj.
BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Shinde’s comments were aimed at disrupting peace in the country, and had served as “oxygen” to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. “Their (Congress’s) destructive mindset is reflected in the statement of the home minister. It’s not only unacceptable but also dangerous,” he said. “You have strengthened the anti- India terrorist groups.
Terrorists are feeling encouraged.” RSS spokesman Ram Madhav termed the attempt to link saffron groups to terrorism as “highly irresponsible” — made only to please Congress 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 vote-bank politics,” he said. The Congress appeared to back Shinde, with senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar saying: “We have known this for long. Shinde had the courage to say it.”
Stirring a Conroversy
► We have got an investigation report that be it RSS or BJP, their training camps are promoting Hindu terror
- Sushilkumar Shinde, Cong
► Saffron is antonym of terror. It is the symbol of our culture. The home minister must apologise to the nation
- Sushma Swaraj, BJP
► Terrorism has no religion. If he has evidence (of saffron groups’ role) then he should prove it
- Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena