Posted On Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 08:37:23 AM
New Delhi: On the eve of the Budget Session of Parliament, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday expressed regret for his Hindu terror remark made at the Jaipur chintan shivir of the Congress last month.
|Swallowing own words: Shinde
“Whether it is BJP or RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism,“ he had said. Clarifying his statement, Shinde said he had no intention to link terror to any religion. “It has been understood to mean that I was linking terrorism to a particular religion.
There is no basis for suggesting that terror can be linked to organisations mentioned in my brief speech in Jaipur,” he said. “Since a controversy has been created on account of my statement, I am issuing this clarification and expressing regret to those who felt hurt by it,” he added.
According to sources, Shinde’s statement was worked out after Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj took an aggressive stance at the all-party meeting called by the Lok Sabha Speaker Meirakumar in the afternoon.
Sushma had said that if the BJP was training terrorists, as alleged by Shinde, then she should cease to be the leader of the opposition and her party members should not be allowed inside the Parliament.
As the government kept working on the wording of Shinde’s clarification, the delay in issuing it had created a lot of confusion by the evening. It was not just the BJP but also its allies in the NDA like the Shiv Sena and the JD(U) were not happy that the Home Minister seemed to dragging his feet over the promise that he had at the all-party meeting.
“The home minister had to retract his statement as the leaders of opposition in both the house of the Parliament cannot be dubbed as terrorists,” said BJP MP Nishikant Dubey. Congress leaders too agreed that Shinde had no option but to amend his comment as the party could not afford to suffer any damage.
“If you saw a lot of delay, it was because we were weighing all pros and cons,” said a Congress working committee member. Party sources also said that the government was keen to make the session productive.
Nothing Achived: RSS
According to sources in the RSS, they felt the BJP achieved nothing by getting an apology from Shinde. They said the Sangh feels Hindu terror or Hindutva terror are non-issues as they do not touch the concerns of the common people.
“Shinde’s remarks has not generated a public debate, so why should we bother,” asked a RSS pracharak. Another senior Sangh functionary said, “If today the government is willing to regret for Shinde’s remarks that is because it is on the back foot due to the chopper scam.
We are surprised that instead of taking up the copter deals, the BJP leaders are focussing on issues like Shinde and Katju.”