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BJP today stepped up its attack on UPA over Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's charge that BJP and RSS promoted Hindu terror and demanded his sacking and also an unconditional apology from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The party also announced a nation-wide protest on January 24 against Shinde's remarks.
BJP Chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Sushil Kumar Shinde must be sacked and the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi must tender an unconditional apology."
"BJP will 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 have no religion.
Prasad said "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."
BJP also said the Home Minister's comments will also help Pakistan which has always been in denial mode about flow of terrorism from its territory.
Questioning the Home Minister's intentions behind his comments of linking terror to Hindu organisations, the BJP leader said "saffron is the beacon of India's spiritual and religious heritage and holds a lot of importance in the independence of this country as saffron is also depicted on India's national flag.
"It is downright insult of India's spiritual, religious, cultural and civilisational heritage," he said, questioning if Sonia Gandhi is she approved of Shinde's remarks.
Prasad said why under Gandhi's stewardship the UPA government was "playing a joke with the feelings of Hindus".
"Why this is happening in your government, you being the senior-most leader of the party in power in the country? What is your reaction now? Does Congress approve of it?," he said.
Gadkari attacks Shinde over his remarks on BJP, RSS
Lucknow: BJP chief Nitin Gadkari today hit out at Sushilkumar Shinde for his remarks on the party and RSS, saying the statement made by the Union Home Minister was "an insult to the entire nation".
Addressing a party rally here, Gadkari said BJP will stage nation-wide protests on January 24 against Shinde's remarks with a slogan "Hindu bhagwa ka apman nahi sahega Hindustan (Country will not tolerate the insult of Hindu Community)."
"The then Home Minister P Chidambaram had talked about saffron terrorism, and now his successor Shinde has levelled allegations of Hindu terrorism. The manner in which Shinde has commented on RSS and BJP, its an insult to the country," Gadkari said.
He said the party will demand that both PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi should apologise before the Hindu society for the statement made by the Home Minister.
Gadkari accused the Congress-led UPA government of promoting terrorism, and said Shinde's comments "getting a support from" LeT founder Hafiz Saeed was a serious issue.
Attacking Manmohan and Sonia, Gadkari alleged that the two leaders "remained silent for nine days" when two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops.
In his address, senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi accused the Congress of dividing the society in the name of Hindu and Muslim terrorism, and said nationalist organisations like BJP and RSS will not let it succeed in its efforts.
He claimed such statements are out of the nervousness that is prevailing in the party, as it knows it is not going to come back to power in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
BJP leader and MP from Ghaziabad Rajnath Singh said if voted to power, his party will revert the decision of FDI in retail.
Targeting UPA's economic policies, Rajnath said during six-year rule of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Central government kept the inflation under control and the country emerged as an economic power.
Referring to Rahul Gandhi's reported statement that politics is like poison, party's firebrand leader Uma Bharti said "if politics is done with ulterior motive, it turns into poison. But if it is done as a religious duty for the interest of the country, then it opens the gate for salvation".
On increasing cases of crime against women, Bharti said women should not remain helpless and take inspiration from the likes of Rani Laxmibai and Jijabai.
The party also targeted the SP and BSP, blaming that the two parties were equally responsible responsible for inflation and corruption in the country.
On one hand, the two parties claim to oppose the Congress, but when it comes to voting against the government, they directly or indirectly stand with it, party said.
BJP vice-presidents Kalraj Mishra and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi claimed the large turnout in the rally is an indicator that BJP is going to get maximum seats in UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Arun Jaitley says Cong soft on terror, cites Shinde's 'trembling' hand
Siliguri (WB): BJP today slammed Union Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for accusing it and RSS of running terror training camps and said he should either prove it or apologise.
"Shinde has to prove what he has said otherwise he has to withdraw the remark or apologise," Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters here.
"Congress which withdrew POTA has always been soft towards terrorists and terrorism instead of taking a hard stand," Jaitley said.
"That was why Shinde's hand was trembling to sign (the order) on the person who launched the attack on Parliament and whose death sentence was upheld by Supreme Court," Jaitley said.
He said that the entire country knew that BJP and RSS were symbols of nationalism. "BJP is a party which always stood against terrorism," he said.
Earlier, addressing a public meeting, Jaitley alleged that the UPA government was not interested in curbing terror and had no courage to respond strongly to Pakistan on the beheading of two Indian soldiers.