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Posted on Jan 21, 07:35PM | UNI
The Bharatiya Janata Party today said Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde must be sacked for his remark that the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were promoting ''Hindu terrorism'' through their training camps.
Terming Mr Shinde's remark an 'insult' of the Hindu religion and saffron heritage, the BJP announced a nationwide protest against his comment on January 24.
''He (Mr Shinde) is the light weight Home Minister and is in the habit of speaking lightly. But his comment should be taken seriously as he spoke from a Congress podium in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi,'' BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
''I condemn strongly the malicious and baseless comment by a light weight Home Minister who doesn't know what he is speaking about. We demand Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to tender an unconditional apology and Mr Shinde must be sacked,'' Mr Prasad said.
The BJP spokesperson said Mr Shinde 'insulted' Indian spiritual and cultural heritage.
Mr Prasad said saffron was the ''beacon of India's spritual heritage'' and it was on the national flag also.
''We never say Muslim terror because we know terror has no religion,'' he added.
He alleged that the Congress leaders repeatedly insulted the Hindu religion whether it was then Home Minister P Chidambaram used the word ''Saffron terror'' or the Centre's response on Ram Sethu issue only for vote bank politics.
Mr Prasad said the BJP will fight politically on the issue of 'insult' to Hindu religion and 'expose' the Congress.
Mr Prasad said in 2010, the Congress had distanced itself from Mr Chidambaram's remark.
''We want to know, does the Congress approve of Mr Shinde's comments?'' he said.
The BJP also criticised Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh for 'supporting' Mr Shinde's remark.
Mr Prasad alleged that Mr Singh had used honorifics for Osama Bin Laden by calling him ''Osama Ji'' and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed as Hafiz Saeed 'Sahab'.
''It was Digvijay Singh who went Azamgarh and raised questions on Batla House encounter. These are copy book cases of vote bank politics and compromising national security,'' the BJP chief spokesperson commented.
Mr Prasad said if anyone from the RSS was involved in any terror case, he should be punished but an entire organisation can not be blamed.
''...RSS is a patriotic organisation. We never supported Samjhauta Express blast. From day one we demanded action into the case,'' he said.
Mr Prasad added that such statements will give opportunity to Pakistan to deny on all the terror related issues.
The BJP also slammed the Congress for not hanging Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and not taking any action on illegal migration from Bangladesh.
Mr Shinde, while speaking at the AICC conference in Jaipur, said the government had reports that the RSS was running training camps for Hindu extremists. He also levelled the same charges against the BJP.