New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) The BJP Thursday kept up its demand for the sacking of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over his "Hindu terror" remarks, threatening to disrupt parliament's budget session till the government is "forced" to drop him. The ruling Congress dismissed the protests as aimed to deflect attention from BJP's own problems.
Speaking at a rally here as part of its protests against Shinde's remarks, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) new president Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj demanded that the Congress leadership apologise over Shinde's remarks.
The BJP "will fight the issue in both houses of parliament", said Rajnath Singh, alleging that the prime minister "will not have the guts" to sack Shinde till Congress chief Sonia Gandhi speaks on the issue.
"What is your (Gandhi) view on Shinde's remarks? If you do not give directions to Manmohanji that Shindeji should be sacked, I want to tell you, we will create a situation in both houses of parliament that Manmohanji will be forced to sack Shindeji. No power on earth will be able to stop it," said the newly-installed BJP chief.
The budget session of parliament is expected to begin in the second half of February.
"He (Shinde) has raised such a big question on the country's prestige, even then there is silence. No power will be able to save him (from sacking), the BJP will create such a situation in the country," said Rajnath Singh.
"Till the time an apology comes on (Shinde's) statement, our agitation will continue," Sushma Swaraj said.
"You have hurt national interest at a time when Pakistan is coming and beheading our soldiers. You are not attacking Pakistan but attacking the main opposition party," she claimed.
"What do you want to tell the world? There might be terror camps in Pakistan, but here the main opposition party runs a terror camp! Do you want to say, terrorists are sitting in parliament? The leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha is heading a terror organisation?" she asked.
Sushma Swaraj accused the Congress of "double speak" on Shinde's remarks, and said one of its general secretaries had justified Shinde's remarks and another had sought to distance the party from them.
Shinde had referred to Hindu terrorism and saffron terrorism during the Congress conclave in Jaipur Sunday.
"Whether it is BJP or RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism," he had said.
Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury termed the BJP's nationwide agitation as an attempt to deflect public attention from its problems.
"Why is the BJP threatening to agitate over (Shinde's) remark? They are doing this to deflect people's attention from their in-house problems and misguide them," she told reporters here.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy termed the protests by the BJP as unwarranted.
"People who were arrested in the Malegaon incident and the Samjhauta Express blast were found to be members of some of the Hindu fundamentalist groups and it was in that context the home minister said this. I don't see any kind of objection to any part of his statement," Narayanasamy told reporters.
"Terrorism is terrorism; whether Hindu fundamentalism or Muslim fundamentalism, it is condemnable," he said.