Congress, BJP tussle over 'Hindu terror'

Chidambaram accuses Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh of distorting remarks

New Delhi: A war of words broke out between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress on Saturday over the "Hindu terror" issue, with the latter accusing the former of polarising the country. The BJP later asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to clarify her party's stand on the issue.

Rajnath Singh accused Congress of coining the term 'Hindu terrorism'
Rajnath Singh accused Congress of coining the term 'Hindu terrorism' 

On Friday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had accused the Congress in the Lok Sabha of coining the term "Hindu terrorism" and weakening the fight against terror.

Former home minister P Chidambaram attacked Singh on Saturday, accusing him of completely distorting Hindu terror remarks to blame the former UPA government. He said former home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in the UPA regime had questioned Hindu terror in a very different context but Singh's statement was a completely diversionary argument.

Chidambaram said Shinde made a statement outside Parliament and did not use the phrase Hindu terror in the manner in which Rajnath Singh was quoting. "What he (Shinde) was referring to was the right wing extremist groups and some of them were charged in several bomb blast cases, Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and one or two other cases. Many of those charged had very close links with the RSS.

P Chidambaram
P Chidambaram 

In fact, a few were even members of the RSS and that is all part of the chargesheet in the investigation," he said reacting to Singh's statement.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government was trying to rake up the "Hindu terror" issue to divide the country. "The comment of the then home minister is being quoted out of context," Azad said. The BJP was quick to hit back.

Union minister BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "BJP wants to know from Sonia Gandhi does she approve of the whole level of Hindu terror being alleged by Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders?" Prasad also said Rahul Gandhi once told a US ambassador that "threat of LeT is inferior in comparison to Hindu terror".

Prasad also clarified that the BJP talks about "Jihadi terror" not "Muslim terrorism". "Shinde had said India is concerned about Hindu terror. When Chidambaram was home minister he had also spoken about saffron terror. BJP's stand on this is clear that terrorism has no belief, no religion," Prasad said.

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