War of words over Hindu terror remark: Congress slams Rajnath Singh, says comment used to polarise country

A war of words has broken out between the BJP and the Congress over Sushil Kumar Shinde's 'Hindu terrorism' remark. The Congress hit back at Singh said the Home Minister was quoting his predecessor Sushil Kumar Shinde out of context.

FP Politics August 01, 2015 17:34:41 IST
War of words over Hindu terror remark: Congress slams Rajnath Singh, says comment used to polarise country

A war of words has broken out between the BJP and the Congress over Sushil Kumar Shinde's 'Hindu terrorism' remark. The Congress hit back at Singh said the Home Minister was quoting his predecessor Sushil Kumar Shinde out of context.

Shinde on Saturday denied having used the word "Hindu terrorism" in Parliament during the UPA tenure. "I never used the word Hindu terrorism in Parliament. I had used it in the Jaipur session of Congress but I withdrew it immediately," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Pune.

Speaking to NDTV, former Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "It's a completely diversionary argument. The fact is that he was referring to Mr Shinde who made a statement outside Parliament. He (Shinde) didn't use the phrase Hindu terror in the manner Rajnath Singh quoted... He was referring to right-wing extremist groups who had been implicated and some of them charged in several bomb blast cases."

War of words over Hindu terror remark Congress slams Rajnath Singh says comment used to polarise country

Former Union Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. PTI

The BJP did not miss a chance to attack the Congress. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Singh has said nothing wrong. "The Congress party of today has not learnt from the sacrifice of Indira Gandhiji and Rajiv Gandhi. Had they learnt from it, things would not have been the same. Rajnath ji has not said anything wrong. This is vote bank politics and for this they are bringing religion into it," said Prasad while addressing a press conference.

The Congress added that the NDA government was trying to rake up the Hindu terror issue in a bid to divide and polarise the country. "Shinde's comment is being quoted out of context. It is a deliberate attempt on the part of the government, it is the deliberate attempt on the part of the BJP for various reasons - to divide the country, to take up the debate between two religions," Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media.

"The BJP government is doing this to divert the attention of the people from its failure to effectively counter the threat of terrorism, to abuse and to use the parliamentary forum, to abuse and defame its opponents, particularly the Congress," Azad added.

"The Congress has always been against terrorism, be it Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, north eastern states or the states sharing borders with our neighbours. We have seen our sitting prime minister Indira Gandhi martyred to terrorism," he said.

"We have seen the death of ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at the hands of terrorists."

"I would like to say that since this BJP government has come into power, there is so much polarization in the country, across the country. Even in Jammu and Kashmir, there might have threat of terrorist, there might have been terrorism, but there was never a polarisation. The moment BJP became part of the coalition government, the polarization in a big way has hit Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Shinde's statement came in the backdrop of the claim by Union Home minister Rajanth Singh who said the government's fight against terrorism got weakened after the use of the word by the UPA government.

Shinde said the NDA government was trying to divert attention from its own "inaction" in handling terrorism in the wake of the Gurdaspur attack.

Rajnath Singh on Friday, after making a statement in the Lok Sabha on the July 27 attack had said that the previous UPA government had coined the term "Hindu terrorism", to change the course of probe into the incidents of terrorism while accusing the Congress of weakening the fight against terror.

Shinde alleged that terrorism in the country got a boost after the hijacking of the flight to Kandahar (leading to release of some terrorists) during the NDA rule.

He said this was followed later by attack on the Jammu and Kashmir assembly and attack on the Parliament house.

(With PTI and IANS inputs)

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