New Delhi: The BJP today demanded that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde be sacked over his charge that the party and RSS promoted "Hindu terrorism" and announced a nation-wide protest on 24 January against the controversial remark.
The RSS also joined the BJP in stepping up the attack against Shinde, calling him "darling of real terrorists", noting that Pakistan-based JuD, a terror outfit, has "congratulated" Shinde for the remark made at AICC meet yesterday.
Describing Shinde as a "lightweight" Home Minister, BJP Chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded an unconditional apology from Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over Shinde's allegation.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, a known RSS baiter, however came to the rescue of Shinde.
Nath said the BJP's outburst is an attempt to divert the attention of people from the squabbles in the party while Singh said that what he has been saying for the past several years has been proved right after the Home Minister's comments on RSS and BJP.
"Sushilkumar Shinde must be sacked and the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi must tender an unconditional apology," Prasad told reporters here.
"The BJP shall not tolerate this repeated insult of Hindu and saffron traditions of India," he said, adding the party has never linked religion with terror as terrorists had no religion.
Prasad said a nation-wide protest will be staged by BJP on 24 January against Shinde's remark.
"He(Shinde) is a lightweight Home minister and is in the habit of speaking lightly. I condemn it strongly, very forcefully. It is a malicious, baseless comment made by a lightweight Home Minister who doesn't know what he is speaking about."
RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav took strong exception to Shinde's "insensitive" remark, calling it "unpardonable" and which could also influence investigations in Malegaon and Samjautha blasts cases.
"Today, Jamaat ud Dawa etc congratulated Shinde. Now, he has become the darling of real terrorists. It is Shinde who is helping our enemies by such statements. Now, even the LeT has welcomed his statement I am told," Madhav tweeted.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "Shinde has to prove what he has said otherwise he has to withdraw the remark or apologise."
Shinde yesterday stoked a controversy by accusing BJP and RSS of conducting terror training camps and promoting "Hindu terrorism".