Congress distances itself from Shinde's 'Hindu terror' remark
The Congress Party on Tuesday distanced itself from Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's controversial 'Hindu terror' remark, emphasising that the party can never associate terrorism with any religion.
Clarifying the party's stand at a press conference here, Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said: "Congress does not see terrorism from the religion point of view. Similarly, the party does not agree with terms like 'Hindu Terrorism' or 'Saffron Terrorism'.
"We have clearly stated that terrorism has no religion, and everyone should stand up against it. As far the saffron colour is concerned, how can the Congress point out any objection on it? It was a symbol of martyrdom during freedom movements, it is a prominent part of our national flag and it also appears on our party flag. So, we must now end this debate, and people should stop blaming the Congress Party," said Dwivedi.
"Home Minister might have been mistaken while making such remark, because no one in the Congress can make such statement deliberately," he added.
Earlier on Sunday, the last day of the Congress Party's Chintan Shivir in Jaipur, Rajasthan, Shinde stirred a major controversy when he alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were running training camps with the objective of promoting Hindu terror across the country.
To prove his point, Shinde cited the examples of the Samjhauta Express blast (February 18, 2007), the Mecca Masjid (May 18, 2007) and Malegaon explosions (September 8, 2006.)
The BJP and the RSS immediately and vociferously condemned the remark and sought Shinde's resignation from the Union Cabinet along with apologies from UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Later, issuing some sort of clarification, Shinde said that he had made a reference to "Saffron Terrorism" and appeared to reject the view that he had used the words "Hindu Terrorism".