The BJP today welcomed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's statement expressing regret over his Hindu terror remarks but maintained that had he done so earlier it would not have "gladdened the hearts" of terrorists based in Pakistan.
"We accept this regret from the Home Minister but this ought to have come much earlier. Shinde's comment against the RSS and the BJP was totally unwarranted, baseless and malicious. If Mr Shinde knew that what has spoken was incorrect he ought to have accepted his mistake earlier graciously," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told
He maintained that the delay in Shinde's statement expressing regret had created a condition which "gladdened the hearts of terrorists and their patrons in Pakistan".
Chief of Pakistan-based terror outfit JuD Hafiz Saeed had welcomed Shinde's Hindu terror remarks.
BJP sources said the party will not raise this issue in Parliament and the matter is closed after Shinde's regret.
"We hope and trust that Shinde will be cautious in his comments about nationalistic organisation like the BJP and RSS in future and not repeat this again," Prasad said.
BJP had spoken firmly against the remarks made by Shinde at the Congress 'chintan
shivir' in Jaipur. Soon after taking over as BJP president, Rajnath Singh had demanded that Shinde should withdraw his remarks and tender an apology.
Sources said Shinde had sent a draft of the regret statement to Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj earlier but that was rejected by the
BJP. Shinde's statement today was issued after BJP expressed its satisfaction over its wording, the sources said.
BJP's NDA ally Shiv Sena hailed the statement issued by Shinde. "With the statement, the issue is over for us," party general secretary Sanjay Raut said.
Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said Shinde's remark gave a lot of "undue advantage" to terrorists and handlers of terrorism and had in a way "compromised on the national security".
She said the remark was "without any basis then and today in his statement it is conceded that the RSS and the BJP do not train terrorists in their camps.
"This whole month unfortunately has been spent on an issue, which had really created such a sense of worry and anguish among people, nationalist organisations and the BJP, which is the principal Opposition party."
She said terrorists or terrorism cannot have a colour and cannot be related to a religion.
"In fact the statement, which has come from the Home Minister should be seen as a lesson for many people, who every then and now throw this kind of baseless allegation against BJP and RSS as such allegations are only going to compromise with the national security or even the social harmony in the country," the BJP spokesperson said.
She hoped that with the air over Shinde's statement now being cleared, attention will be given to critical issues, which are pending in Parliament.
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