New Delhi: The BJP top brass today decided to strongly protest against Leader of the House in Lok Sabha Sushilkumar Shinde during the Budget Session till he tenders an apology for his Hindu terror remark against the principal opposition.
The Executive Committee meeting of BJP's Parliamentary Party chaired by LK Advani decided that it will protest in Parliament against Shinde's comments that BJP and RSS were training grounds for saffron terror. However, the party will not force adjournments of the two Houses on this issue.
"The Parliamentary Party executive committee of the BJP met to discuss its strategy for the forthcoming Budget Session. A final shape to the plans will be given after NDA floor leaders meet tomorrow," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
BJP is holding a protest march tomorrow in the capital from Jantar Mantar against Shinde. Sources said Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj suggested in the meeting that the march should be to Shinde's residence.
"BJP has taken a serious view of the remarks made by Shinde. We have demanded that he should apologise... The details of how we will go about our protest in Parliament is a question of strategy which cannot be divulged. But our demand is emphatic. Shinde is not just a Home Minister simpliciter. He is also the Leader of the Lok Sabha," Prasad said.
This may put the government in a fix as other NDA parties are also likely to stand by BJP on this issue. The protest against Shinde may hamper smooth functioning of Parliament and affect passage of crucial legislation.
The BJP had earlier boycotted P Chidambaram for a whole session when he was the Home Minister and had made similar remarks.
The BJP top brass also agreed that the financial irregularities in the VVIP helicopter deal should be raised strongly in Parliament.
"There is a scam in this government before every session of Parliament. Earlier it was the Coal allocation scam and now the helicopter scam.... The ministers in this government are speaking in different voices on the scam. While the Defence Minister is saying we will scrap the deal, the External Affairs Minister is against it," Prasad said.
He maintained that now it has been accepted by the government that bribes were paid in the Italian chopper deal and some of those involved have also been arrested in Italy.
It should now be found out who got the bribes in India.
Press Council of India Chairperson Markandey Katju's comments against Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government will also be raised vociferously by the BJP. "Katju holds a quasi-judicial position and has no right to make political statements. He should either resign or be sacked," Prasad said.
Other issues on the agenda of the BJP for the Parliament session include the mutilation of bodies of Indian soldiers including beheading of Hemraj by Pakistani forces at the Kashmir border. The main opposition wants that this issue be taken up forcefully with Pakistan and international pressure be put on it.
Drought and frost in some states and its impact on crops and the people living in the area will also be raised by the BJP in the Budget Session.
The meeting was also attended by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, and senior MPs Gopinath Munde, Murli Manohar Joshi, Maya Singh, Ramesh Bais, Shahnawaz Hussain, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Balbir Punj.