Govt backs Shinde, calls protests 'unnecessary'

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 12:23 hrs

Amid nationwide protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over Sushilkumar Shinde's 'Hindu terror' remarks, the government on Thursday backed the Union Home Minister and called the country's main opposition party's agitation 'unwarranted and unnecessary'.

"I do not see any kind of objection to any part of his (Sushilkumar Shinde) statement," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Minister V Narayanasamy told reporters on Thursday.

"Our country is a secular country and we are a secular government.....what the Home Minister said was that we should not allow any terrorism in any part of the country," he said.

"Terrorism is terrorism. Whether it is Hindu fundamentalism or Muslim fundamentalism, it is condemnable," Narayanasamy said.

Criticising the BJP, the Union Minister said: "The BJP´s agitation is unwarranted and unnecessary. The BJP does not have any issues against our government. That is why they are making this non-issue an issue."

Congress spokesperson Renuka Choudhary slammed the BJP and said it was trying to ´divert the attention´ through protests.

"It is a diversionary tactic," Choudhary told media.

"There are a lot of rifts in the party. Just to distract the people they are doing this agitation," she said.

Backing Shinde, Choudhary said: "He (Sushilkumar Shinde) is the Home Minister and he must have the facts before him when he made the statement."

The BJP on Thursday launched nationwide protests against Shinde´s ´Hindu terror´ remark with newly-elected party president Rajnath Singh leading the agitation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

"We are protesting on the streets but if the government does not remove Shinde and express regret then we are going to take the battle to the Parliament," Singh said while addressing the protesters at the Janatar Mantar.

"Shinde will have to go. No power will be able to stop it. We will create a situation that Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh will have to sack him," he said.

Senior party leader Sushma Swaraj, who was also present at the venue, demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi to apologize for Shinde´s remark and ´sack´ the Union Home Minister.

"We will continue our protests until Sonia Gandhi and the PM apologize and sack Shinde," Swaraj said.

According to reports, the police used water canons to disperse BJP supporters who were protesting against Shinde´s remarks at Chandigarh.

At the Chintan Shivir of the Congress in Jaipur, the Home Minister had accused the BJP and its ideological patron Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of promoting Hindu terrorism in India in their training camps.

"On one hand we are trying to restore peace in India and looking into injustices on minority or stopping infiltration while on the other hand the training camps of BJP or RSS are looking after promotion of Hindu terrorism in their camps," said Shinde speaking at the Congress conclave on Sunday.

Later when pressed for clarification, he told media that what he said is nothing new but had come out in media many times.

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