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Posted on Jan 22, 07:01PM | IBNS
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday backed Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's remarks on 'Hindu terror' and said they were based on 'facts'.
Speaking to reporters, Khurshid said: "Let me just say this to you very clearly that our stated position, that is shared fully by the Home Minister and past Home Minister, is based entirely on facts."
"We should not be distracted by a phrase here and there. Terror does not have a religion. It should not have a colour," he said.
India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed Khurshid for his remark and called it 'disappointing'.
"Khurshid's comment is disappointing," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said while addressing a press conference on Tuesday.
"Yesterday, Pakistan's terrorists celebrated after Mr Shinde's comments. Is Mr Khurshid supporting those terrorists?" he said.
"The BJP is deeply distressed as to the line Mr Khurshid has taken. The External Affairs Minister should weigh his words," he said.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said Shinde's remarks were 'irresponsible'.
Chouhan told media: "Neither the BJP nor the Congress is above the country and therefore Shinde's statement has weakened India's fight against terrorism and will give the nation's enemy an advantage on the issue."
"It was a highly irresponsible statement from the Home Minister," he said.
The BJP on Monday demanded Shinde's resignation for his remarks on 'Hindu terror'.
The BJP also demanded unconditional apology from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi for Shinde's remarks.
Shinde on Sunday sparked a major row as he accused the BJP and its ideological patron Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of promoting Hindu terrorism in India in their training camps, inviting some angry reactions from the parties he blamed.
"On one hand we are trying to restore peace in India and looking into injustices on minority or stopping infiltration while on the other hand the training camps of BJP or RSS are looking after promotion of Hindu terrorism in their camps," said Shinde speaking at the Congress Chintan Shivir (Brainstorming Conclave) in Jaipur on Sunday.
Later when pressed for clarification, he told media that what he said is nothing new but had come out in media many times.
"I have spoken about saffron terrorism only. What I said is nothing new and they are all over the media," he said.
2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed had praised Shinde for his statement.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Saeed said Shinde has finally spoken the truth.
"World should take notice and declare India a state that is supporting terror on its soil after its Home minister Shinde candidly confesses.Shinde has spoken Truth finally, we consider this a Help from ALLAH SWT for Pakistan which is always alleged by India for Terrorism," Saeed tweeted.