New Delhi: The BJP on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to sack Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for his contentious remarks in which he had said on Sunday that the saffron party and the RSS together are promoting ‘Hindu terrorism’.

"The BJP will not tolerate the repeated insult of Hindus and saffron traditions of India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi should sack Sushuilkumar Shinde for malicious remark,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said while reiterating his party's demand for an unconditional apology from the Congress party.

Shinde at a Congress meeting in Jaipur on Sunday had said, "We have got an investigation report that be it the RSS or BJP, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism. We are keeping a strict vigil on all this."

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Terming Shinde has a "lightweight" Home Minister, Prasad said "he is a lightweight Home Minister and is in the habit of speaking lightly. I condemn it strongly, very forcefully. It is a malicious, baseless comment made by a lightweight Home Minister who doesn't know what he is speaking about."

BJP also said the Home Minister's comments will also help Pakistan which has always been in denial mode about flow of terrorism from its territory. Questioning the Home Minister's intentions behind his comments of linking terror to Hindu organisations, the BJP leader said "saffron is the beacon of India's spiritual and religious heritage and holds a lot of importance in the independence of this country as saffron is also depicted on India's national flag.

"It is downright insult of India's spiritual, religious, cultural and civilisational heritage," he said, questioning if Sonia Gandhi is she approved of Shinde's remarks.

Prasad said why under Gandhi's stewardship the UPA government was "playing a joke with the feelings of Hindus".

"Why this is happening in your government, you being the senior-most leader of the party in power in the country? What is your reaction now? Does Congress approve of it?," he said. Prasad said Shinde's statement could also have a serious and adverse affect on the government's relationship with the opposition in Parliament which had led to deadlock on many occasions in the past. Shinde is the leader of the House in Lok Sabha.

The BJP leader said Pakistan will use Shinde's remarks against India, especially at a time when the nation is angry over the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani troops. "But the way politics is being played, the happiest today would be Pakistan which has been playing an anti-India campaign," he said. "They (Pakistan) will say: look at saffron Hindu terror what your Home Minister is talking about."

Prasad said his party has never been against initiating action against any kind of terror, be it Samjhauta Express or other cases accused.

He also said that despite evidence of many Muslims linked to terror activities in India, his party has never termed terrorism as "Muslim terror". Even as he termed Shinde as a "lightweight", Prasad said the party took his comments seriously and reacted as he had spoken from the podium of Congress Chintan Baithak in the presence of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi.

BJP also accused Congress of indulging in vote-bank politics, saying "these are copy-book cases on rank vote-bank politics on terrorism". He also questioned the delay by the government in deciding on the mercy plea of Afzal Guru and its alleged slow response on the issue of illegal immigration.

RSS calls Shinde darling of terrorists

Meanwhile, the RSS on Monday said that Shinde’s comments have made the minister ‘a darling of terrorists.’

 It also added that the Home Minister's remarks allow Pakistan and terror groups based there to pass the buck for attacks in India.  

“The Congress leader has made such an irresponsible statement at a time when the matter is being probed. It’s totally unwarranted and he must make a public apology for the same,” RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said.

Earlier this morning, Madhav tweeted - "It is Shinde who is helping our enemies by making such statements. Now even LeT (terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba) welcomed his statement as I am told."


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