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Posted on Jan 24, 02:44PM | IBNS
India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday launched nationwide protests against Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's 'Hindu terror' remark with newly-elected party president Rajnath Singh leading the agitation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
"We are protesting on the streets but if the government does not remove Shinde and express regret then we are going to take the battle to the Parliament," Singh said while addressing the protesters at the Janatar Mantar.
"Shinde will have to go. No power will be able to stop it. We will create a situation that Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh will have to sack him," he said.
Senior party leader Sushma Swaraj, who was also present at the venue, demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi to apologize for Shinde's remark and 'sack' the Union Home Minister.
"Shinde does not understand how much harm he has done with his statement," Swaraj said.
"If the BJP conducts terrror camps then how can it be the main opposition party of the country? What are you trying to say? That the Parliament is full of terrorists?" she said.
"We will continue our protests until Sonia Gandhi and the PM apologize and sack Shinde," the BJP leader said.
According to reports, the police used water canons to disperse BJP supporters who were protesting against Shinde's remarks at Chandigarh.
Right after being elected as BJP president, Rajnath Singh on Wednesday had condemned Shinde's 'Hindu terror' remarks and said the party would 'hold protests' against him across the country from Thursday.
"The recent statement of the Union home minister shows the government is not serious about fighting terrorism...We wholeheartedly condemn his comments," Rajnath Singh said after he was elected as the president of the BJP unopposed.
At the Chintan Shivir of the Congress in Jaipur, the Home Minister had accused the BJP and its ideological patron Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of promoting Hindu terrorism in India in their training camps.
"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 conclave 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.
Union home secretary R.K. Singh on Tuesday backed Shinde's comment on BJP-RSS links with Hindu terror acts.
He said at least 10 people were such who were linked to RSS and were involved in the terror attacks like Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Dargah Sharif blasts.
"We have at least 10 names associated with RSS at one time or other," R.K. Singh told reporters.