A day ahead of parliament’s budget session, Home MinisterSushilkumar Shinde yesterday expressed regret for his “Hindu terrorism” remark that threatened to stall the functioning of the house and was roundly criticised by the BJP. “Since a controversy has been created on account of my statement, I am issuing this clarification and express regret to those who felt hurt by my statement,” Shinde said.
The minister said his statement in Jaipur last month has created a misunderstanding. “It has been understood to mean that I was linking terrorism to a particular religion and was accusing certain political organisations of being involved in organising terror camps. I had no intention of linking terrorism with any religion. There is no basis for suggesting that terror could be linked with the organisations mentioned in my brief speech at Jaipur,” Shinde said.
“I will continue to perform my duties to the best of my ability to ensure harmony is maintained in the social fabric of India,” Shinde added. Shinde had made “Hindu terrorism” and “saffron terrorism” remarks at the Congress chintan shivir at Jaipur last month triggering strong protests from the BJP and some other organisations.
“Whether it is BJP or RSS , their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism,” he had said. The issue threatened to cast its shadow over the budget session of parliament as the BJP had decided it will not respond to any communication from Shinde as Leader of the House in Lok Sabha
The party had also decided it will boycott public programmes of Shinde till he apologised for his remarks. The BJP raised the issue of Shinde’s remarks at the all party meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar yesterday and said the matter should be resolved first.
BJP president Rajnath Singh and colleagues Arun Jaitley, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar were detained along with a mass of supporters at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital when they sought to take out a march to protest Shinde’s remarks.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had given an indication of government’s desire to resolve the issue after an all-party meeting. He said the government would find a solution to the issue. Sources said Shinde and Sushma Swaraj met in presence of Meira Kumar after the all-party meeting.