Rajnath starts off with Shinde protest

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 07:11 hrs

New Delhi: Rajnath Singh will begin his first day as BJP president with a demonstration against Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Thursday.

Reports said he will be accompanied by Sushma Swaraj and other party leaders at Jantar Mantar here.

 Rajnath Singh attacked Sushil Kumar Shinde for his recent "Hindu terror" remarks, saying that he needs to understand that he is the Home Minister of the country.

Shinde had made the controversial remark on the final day of the Congress Party's Chintan Shivir in Jaipur. He had accused the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of holding terror-training camps and promoting "Hindu terrorism" in the country.

The statement immediately invited condemnation from both the BJP and the RSS. They have demanded Shinde's immediate sacking from the Union Cabinet, and apologies from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

"Shinde needs to understand that he is Home Minister of the country and cannot make such remarks," Singh said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Shinde refused to comment on Thursday when asked about the BJP's nationwide protests against his remarks.

Right after being elected, Shinde on Wednesday had condemned Sushilkumar Shinde's 'Hindu terror' remarks and said the party will 'hold protests' against Shinde across the country from Thursday.

"The recent statement of the Union home minister shows the government is not serious about fighting terrorism...We wholeheartedly condemn his comments," Rajnath Singh said after he was elected as the president of the BJP unopposed.

He said: "We will hold massive countrywide protests against Shinde from tomorrow."

RSS promoting Hindu terrorism

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.

Union home secretary R.K. Singh on Tuesday backed Shinde's comment on BJP-RSS links with Hindu terror acts.

He said at least 10 people were such who were linked to RSS and were involved in the terror attacks like Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Dargah Sharif blasts.

"We have at least 10 names associated with RSS at one time or other," R.K. Singh told reporters.

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said Shinde's facts were correct but the words used by the home minister were wrong.

"The home minister has withdrawn his remarks. His facts were right, but not words," Digvijaya Singh told CNN-IBN.

He alleged that senior BJP leaders like L.K. Advani and Sushma Swaraj had went on to plead for terrorists.

"L.K. Advani and Sushma Swaraj, they went as a delegation to plead for the terrorists who were booked by the Maharashtra ATS in the case of Malegaon blast. Why did they go and plead their case to the Prime Minister," Digvijaya Singh said.

Denying the allegations, Swaraj tweeted: "CNN IBN quotes Digvijay Singh 'Advani and Sushma pleaded for terrorists.' This is absolutely false."

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