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Shinde "regrets" saffron terror remarks

Posted on Feb 20, 10:07PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 20 : Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday issued expressed his "regret" for his "Hindu terror" remarks made last month, in a move to placate the main opposition BJP that had threatened to disrupt Parliament proceedings over it.

In a statement released on Wednesday evening, the home minister said that he regretted that his comments at a Congress conclave in Jaipur last month had "created controversy" and "misunderstanding".

The statement came just a day before the Budget session of Parliament begins, where the right-wing Hindu nationalistic Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had threatened to disrupt proceedings and boycott the minister.

Shinde said he had "no intention of linking terrorism with any religion. There is no basis for suggesting that terror could be linked with the organisations mentioned in my brief speech at Jaipur."

Earlier on Wednesday, BJP chief Rajnath Singh led top party leaders and workers in a protest march from Jantar Mantar towards Shinde's residence and courted arrest continuing its call for an apology from Shinde.

Speaking at Jaipur, Shinde last month had said, "We have got an investigation report that be it the RSS or BJP, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism."

He later clarified that he meant "saffron terrorism" not "Hindu terrorism," however the BJP refused to budge from its call for an apology.

With the BJP's threat looming large, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday appealed tpo the opposition to let the parliament function and said he is hopeful that the session will be a fruitful one.

"I have said this before and I repeat it again. Parliament is a forum for discussion, for dialogue, and all parties have an obligation to ensure that Parliament runs smoothly. And I am hopeful and I am confident that this session is going to be a fruitful session," he said.

"This is a session, as I said, which is going to deal with the financial business, and our country faces many economic challenges, and it is my sincere hope that all political parties will join hands to find productive, constructive solutions to the formidable challenges facing our nation," Singh said.