BJP says sack Shinde, ‘has helped Pak cause’

Sushil Kumar Shinde

The BJP Monday demanded that Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde be sacked for his remarks suggesting that the BJP and RSS are running Hindu terror camps, saying this had provided Pakistan another opportunity to deny its role in terror cases.

The minister was free to take action against the "terrorists" behind the Samjhauta Express blasts but had no right to "insult" India's spiritual heritage, the party said.

"The BJP strongly condemns the malicious, baseless comments. They are a downright insult of the spiritual, civilisational heritage of India. If there were terrorists behind the bombings in Samjhauta, the government is free to take action against them. If some former swayamsevak of the Sangh Parivar was involved, please act against them. But you cannot tarnish the image of a nationalist organisation... The BJP will not tolerate this repeated insult of Hindu and saffron traditions of India. Shinde must be sacked. The Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi must tender unconditional apology," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference.

Accusing the Congress of playing vote bank politics as well as playing into Pakistan's hands, Prasad added: "The way politics is being played, the happiest would be Pakistan... They (Pakistan) will say: look at saffron Hindu terror, what your Home Minister is talking about."

Earlier in the day, Lashkar-e-Toiba founder and alleged 26/11 attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed invoked the Samjhauta attack and Shinde's remarks to claim that India has confessed to "terrorism infrastructure" on its soil and asked Pakistan to raise the issue in the UN and seek a ban on the RSS and VHP.

"Innocent Pakistanis were killed in the Samjhauta Express, Indian colonel was involved and their Home Minister is endorsing the involvement. Shinde has spoken Truth finally . World should take notice and declare India a state that is supporting terror on its soil after its Home Minister Shinde candidly confesses. Pakistan should raise this (Shinde confession of BJP and RSS terrorist camps) in UNSC and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Countries)," Saeed said in a series of tweets after Shinde's remarks.

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