Unfair to boycott Shinde: Khurshid

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 14:50 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) With the BJP deciding to boycott Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over his "Hindu terrorism" remarks, the Congress Saturday said the party can disagree with his comments but it is unfair to reduce everything to confrontation.

"It is a bit unfair. Sushilkumar Shinde is the home minister. He obviously has information and he is very seasoned. We should respect him. You can always say that you disagree but it is not fair to reduce everything to a confrontation," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.

"Both his views and that of the party (Congress) and government are very clear. We collectively as a nation have to fight terrorism of any kind," Khurshid said while speaking on the sidelines of a function here.

He said giving labels to terrorism will not help as there is a fear that people will try to divide us with colour, religion, caste, community and region.

"We must not fall to these labels. This is a position the party and the government has taken. Terrorism is terrorism and we must fight it," he added.

The BJP Friday decided to boycott Shinde's public programmes and not respond to any communication from him as leader of house in the Lok Sabha over his "Hindu terrorism" and "saffron terrorism" remarks at the Congress conclave in Jaipur last month.

The BJP took the decision at the party's core group meeting.

The BJP had held nationwide protests against Shinde's statement Jan 24 and its leaders had said the party will create a situation in the two houses of parliament that will force Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to remove the minister.

The budget session of parliament is expected to start in the second half of February.

BJP leaders have demanded that the prime minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi should "apologise" for Shinde's remarks and the minister should be sacked.

Shinde may find it difficult to get the government business passed without cooperation from BJP, the main opposition.

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