BJP says sack Shinde, ‘has helped Pak cause’
The Sangh Parivar also called Shinde's remarks a motivated attempt by the Home Minister to influence investigations in the Samjhauta attack and other similar cases.
"The Home Minister of our country spoke in such language calling Hindus as terrorists, it is unpardonable, we take very strong exception to it. I believe that the statement of the Home Minister is actually intended to influence the investigations that are going on into the bomb blast cases," RSS leader Ram Madhav said.
The BJP indicated that the remarks by Shinde, who is also the Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha, will have an impact on the forthcoming session of Parliament. The party has already announced nation-wide protests against the remarks on January 24.
Prasad described the Home Minister's remarks in the presence of PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia as part of the Congress's "rank vote bank politics" and sought to know whether both endorsed his remarks. He reminded that in 2010, the Congress had rebuffed the then home minister's remarks on "saffron terrorism" and asked that the Congress disapprove of his remarks now.
"In August 2010, Congress spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi had rebuffed Home Minister P Chidambaram for linking terror to saffron colour. If this party was against the use of phrase 'saffron terror', we would like to know whether Sonia Gandhi and the Congress approve of Shinde's remarks now," Prasad asked.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley demanded that Shinde furnish evidence. "Shinde has to prove what he has said, otherwise he has to withdraw the remarks or apologise," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha told reporters in West Bengal.
The Congress, however, remained unfazed and again backed Shinde. "For years the media and political parties called me mad when I said the RSS was linked to terror. Today I am very happy that this has been officially stated by the Home Minister himself," Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said. "The Home Minister has said the same things that I was saying for the past 11 years. There are some people in the RSS who are providing training for terrorist activities, and are themselves involved in such activities. He said this because he has evidence. The fact has been proved, investigation is going on, and some people have been arrested in the matter," he added.