BJP to protest Shinde’s comments on ‘terror camps’

Slamming Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for insulting Hindus by accusing the BJP and the RSS of conducting terror training camps, BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Monday announced that the party will stage protests, take out rallies and burn effigies across the country on January 24 to seek an apology from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Shinde.

Addressing a party rally in Lucknow, Gadkari said that Shinde had insulted patriots by accusing the BJP and the RSS of promoting Hindu terrorism. "Congress leaders are daring to insult the Hindus because the Hindu community is divided on castes lines," he said.

The rally was organised to mark the return of former chief minister Kalyan Singh to the BJP. His son Rajveer Singh, who is president of the Rashtriya Jan Kranti Party Jan Kranti Party, announced its merger wtih the BJP and said that both the BJP and Singh had been feeling incomplete without each other.

Singh could not control his emotions when he came on the dais to deliver his first speech from the BJP stage after several years. "I had a wish that when I die, my body is wrapped in the BJP flag. As I have come back, my that wish will be fulfilled," he said in a choked voice. Most senior party leaders from UP were present to welcome Singh, who was greeted with chants of 'Jai Shree Ram'. Interestingly, a large section of the party workers intermittently kept chanting 'Narendra Modi zindabad'.

While welcoming him, Gadkari said that Singh had been a great chief minister and his return had strengthen the party. Former BJP president Rajnath Singh said: "I was also CM in UP but Singh ran the government better than me." Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti said: "The return of Singh in the BJP was my wish and this has been fulfilled."

For Singh, during whose tenure the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished in 1992, this is his second home-coming to the BJP. He had left the party for the first time in December 1999 after differences with the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. He then returned to the party in January 2004 and contested as BJP candidate from Bulandshahr in the Lok Sabha elections, but left it again in January 2009 due to differences over distribution of party tickets for the LS poll.

He joined hands with the SP and contested as an independent from Etah and won. In November 2009, he parted ways with the SP and formed the JKP.

However, Singh has not formally joined the BJP because he could invite disqualification under the anti-defection law. He announced that he will resign from the Lok Sabha and start campaigning in villages for BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

In his speech, Singh said that the Congress and SP were giving shelter to terrorism for Muslim votes. In UP, all facilities were being given only to Muslims. He said Shinde deserved to be sent to a mental asylum for making his statement.

Gadkari said that Pakistani troops brutally killed two Indian soldiers, but the UPA government had no courage to act against Pakistan.

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