Upping the ante, BJP today held protests in different parts of the country demanding the sacking of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for his Hindu terror remarks and declared it would raise the issue vociferously in Parliament as well.
BJP held protests in various parts of the country, including Delhi, Kolkata, Jammu, Bhopal and
Take back your words and apologise: Swaraj to Shinde
Addressing a rally here at Jantar Mantar, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, "Saffron and terror are antonyms. The Home Minister should take back his words and
apologise... Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should apologise and the PM should sack
Swaraj said that instead of attacking Pakistan for running terror camps against India, the Home Minister has targeted BJP and alleged it is training terrorists.
New BJP President Rajnath Singh, who also addressed the rally, declared that if Shinde is not removed, his party will continue to press for its demand in both Houses of Parliament in the forthcoming session.
"Shinde's comments have tarnished the image of India across the world.... Sonia Gandhi's silence on the issue shows that she perhaps thinks her votebank will be strengthened by it...Shinde will have to go. No force can save him," he said.
The party also noted that government had given visa to Pakistan's women's cricket team at this juncture.
Swaraj said Shinde has alleged that RSS and BJP are involved in terror activities but when Congress leaders Mahipal
Maderna, Gopal Kanda and Suresh Kalmadi were sent to jail, BJP never called Congress a "criminal
Is BJP protesting as they don't like a Dalit Home Min?: Cong
An unfazed Congress and government dismissed the BJP agitation as a "diversionary tactic".
"BJP's agitation is unwarranted, unnecessary. BJP does not have any issues against our government. That is why they are making this non-issue an issue," Union Minister V Narayanasamy said.
Party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said it was a "diversionary tactics" by BJP to shift attention from the circumstances in which they had to change their BJP President at the last moment.
"What wrong has Shinde said? He is the Home Minister. He must be having some facts. The party has already made it clear that Congress believes that terror has no religion or
colour. Then what is this fuss all about. They are just trying to divert attention," Chowdhary said.
Singh also played the Dalit card in defence of Shinde asking whether BJP was trying to build this atmospohere "because they are not liking a Dalit Home Minister".
"The Home Minister, himself, has taken back his words on Hindu terror. Congress has also made it clear that terror has no religion or
"If BJP asks Shinde to apologise, we ask L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Uma Bharti to
apologise," he said, asking why Advani went and Sushma Swaraj had met the Prime Minister over Pragya Thakur's arrest," the AICC leader said.
Karnataka: BJP Leaders Want Shinde Sacked
Leading the protest at the busy Mysore Circle in the state capital, BJP state
unit President and Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa slammed Shinde's for his
controversial remarks and demanded that AICC Chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh sack him.
"Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh should sack Shinde from the Union Cabinet
for linking Sangh Parivar including the BJP with 'Hindu terror'. If the Union
Government does not sack Shinde, BJP will take the fight to the streets,"
Madhya Pradesh: BJP Protests at 11 Places in City
Protests-cum-sit-ins were held at Tori Corner, Patnipura, Mhow Naka, Rajbada,
and Bangali Chauraha where BJP workers led by MLA Sudarshan Gupta, city BJP
president Shankar Lalwani, and BJP spokesman Umesh Sharma carried banners
deploring Shinde's derogatory remarks.
Similar protests were reported from five villages in Mhow and Rau mandals of the
party, a spokesman said.
They also demanded that the Centre tender an apology to the nation, and remove
Shinde from the post, Lalwani told reporters, after the end of the half day
In Bhopal, BJP MP Balbir Punj said his "irresponsible statement" has given Pakistan a weapon to attack India.
Kolkata: 'Pakistan celebrating over Shinde's remarks'
"BJP demands immediate sacking of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde
because what he has said has insulted the patriots and helped Pakistan,"
BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said while addressing a rally here,
a part of the nation wide protests.
"There is anger throughout the country and celebration in Pakistan,"
"As the comments were made in the presence of Congress President Sonia
Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, we want them to tender apology,"
The BJP MP said "just for the sake of vote-bank politics, Shinde has gone
to the extent of terming BJP and RSS seats of breeding terrorists.
"Till now no one has talked of Islamic terrorism, but Shinde is talking of
Hindu terror. By doing this he is only giving the enemies of the country a
handle," he said.
He said the protests would be intensified and taken to the Parliament if the
demands of Shinde's dismissal and apologies were not met.
Maharashtra: 'Will 'corner' Cong in Parliament on Shinde's remarks'
Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu, who launched a demonstration in Mumbai against the statement made by Shinde before courting arrest with hundreds of party cadres here, clarified that the fight was not personal.
"BJP will corner Congress in Parliament. Congress has been misusing CBI, office of the Governors, Income Tax department and now they are misusing the Home Ministry,"
Naidu, who is in-charge of the party in Maharashtra, told reporters here.
Naidu said, "Sweeping statement by Shinde on terrorism is to divert attention from major problems facing the country. Terrorism has no
"Why Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Singh are silent on the issue? It means they are endorsing him," he further alleged.
The former BJP president also said that they will "teach a lesson to Congress by defeating them in 2014 general elections."
"Because of opportunistic policy, this (Congress) is a party that promoted Bhindranwale in the past," the BJP leader alleged.
While the Nashik unit of the RSS, the BJP's district office bearers and corporators
staged a 'dharna' in front of the collector office's between from 11 am to 3 pm
today, demanding resignation of Union Home Minister Shinde, BJP's city president
Lazman Savaji told PTI.
Later, a delegation led by Savaji and others submitted a memorandum, containing
demands of the RSS and BJP's demands to the collector, he said.
Both the RSS and the BJP will stage demonstrations during Union Home Minister
Sushil Kumar Shinde's visit here on January 26, to inaugurate the Nashik edition
of Lokmat Times, an English daily, he said.
Gujarat: 'Shinde should publicly prove his statement '
"The public is angry with Shinde's remarks. He has hurt the sentiments of the people. The BJP has organised protests across the state against his remarks," BJP national vice-president Purshottam Rupala told reporters here
Rupala said that if Shinde has evidence of involvement of the BJP or RSS, then he should make the evidence public.
"Who is stopping Shinde from taking action against those involved in terrorist activities? Whatever evidence Shinde has of terror camps being run either by BJP or
RSS, should be made public and action should be taken against those involved in such activities. But saying that the BJP or RSS are conducting terror training camps is utterly wrong," he said.
Uttarakhand: BJP Workers Burn Shinde's Effigy
State BJP workers led by their president Bishan Singh Chufal burnt an effigy of
the home minister here describing his remarks as highly
"We strongly condemn his remarks which will only help Pakistan in its
anti-India propaganda. These protests will continue till he is sacked,"
Similar protest demonstrations were held by party workers at all the district
headquarters in the state, BJP sources here said.
Tamil Nadu: 350 BJP Workers Detained in Coimbatore
BJP's state secretary Vanathi Srinivasan, Hindu Munnani leader Rama Gopalan and
various others participated in the protest, held as part of the party's
nation-wide agitation demanding the resignation of Shinde as Home Minister for
his remarks linking the party and RSS with Hindu terror.
About 350 BJP workers were detained in Coimbatore when they attempted to stage
demonstrations protesting against Shinde.
The workers, including eight women, gathered at 10 places in and around the city
and raised slogans against Shinde and also UPA government and sought an apology
from the minister, police said.
J&K: 'Will protest till Shinde quits'
"Shinde's statements have been appreciated by Hafiz Sayeed and Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman
Malik. This has resulted as a big setback for India at the international front. The remarks are a threat to the nation," Hussain said at a protest rally in Dogra Chowk here.
He said the Home Minister's comments "reflect the ideology of Congress", which has "always forced the country to bow before" terrorism and separatism.
"Congress has been in the habit of labelling nationalist parties as terror units, while its leader Digvijay Singh uses terms like
'Osama ji' and 'Hafiz Saeed sahab' to honour the terrorists," Hussain said.
Odisha: 'Dismiss Shinde from Cabinet'
The party spokesperson said the BJP will continue to protest till Shinde is ousted from the Union cabinet.
"We demand immediate apology from the Prime Minister and dismissal of Shinde from the Union Cabinet," said BJP leader P R Harichandan while participating in a rally here.
As Shinde had made the alleged remark in the presence of the prime minister at the Congress conclave, Singh should apologise for it, BJPLP leader K V Singhdeo said.
The state unit of BJP which is highly factionalized put up a united show and hit the road responding to a call given by party's new national president Rajnath Singh.