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Doors of Discussion Open Between Shinde, BJP: Cong

Amid BJP's stepped up attack on Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde over his saffron terror remarks ahead of Parliament's Budget Session, Congress today struck a conciliatory note, saying doors of discussion were open between Shinde and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on the issue.

Maintaining that the Home Minister has already clarified his remarks, party spokesperson Sandip Dikshit rued "some of the leaders in the main Opposition party are unnecessarily pressing the point to make political mileage out of it".

The party also gave broad indications that a compromise formula on the issue is on the way as it is keen on smooth functioning of the session beginning tomorrow.

After the all-party meeting convened today by Speaker Meira Kumar, BJP veteran L K Advani had said, "Both sides will make efforts to find a way out for the House to function."

BJP President Rajnath Singh had earlier said, "This comment of the Home Minister is part of a conspiracy to divide the nation for votebank politics".

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had said Congress was indulging in "communal polarisation" through such remarks while Swaraj had said that if BJP was training terrorists then she should cease to be the Leader of the Opposition and BJP members should not be allowed in Parliament.

The Congress spokesperson, however, sought to downplay Swaraj's remarks, saying, "that is her point of view" and that there was no such statement from Congress.

Shinde is likely to talk to Swaraj and issue a statement to find a way out to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament. 

To a question on Shinde's remarks made at the party's Chintan Shivir in Jaipur last month, Dikshit said that the Home Minister had only stated that some people associated with RSS in past have been found involved in some criminal cases.

"There is a difference between saying some persons related to an organisation and naming the organisation. The Home Minister has said nothing new. The Home Secretary had earlier said that there are some persons related to some organisations linked with RSS, who have been found to be involved in giving such training to some persons arrested in such cases," he said.

To a specific question whether Shinde will apologise as demanded by BJP, Dikshit said, "Talks are on. Our only appeal is please do not politicise it. We apprehend that BJP will not allow smooth functioning of the session on one pretext or another."

He also said that both Shinde and Congress have repeatedly said that they do not believe in associating terror with any religion or colour.

"This has been discussed many times. Even today, a meeting has happened. Doors of discussion are open between the Home Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. We would want all such issues to be resolved so that Parliament has a smooth session," Dikshit said.

The Congress spokesperson also chose the occasion to appeal to BJP to ensure "an atmosphere of cooperation" during the session, saying many key legislative tasks are pending.

"The government is ready for a discussion on all issues, which the Opposition wants to discuss in Parliament," he said.

A Congress leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that there is not much time for legislative work and the government plans to pass key bills on land acquisition, food security and Lokpal and, hence, the attempt is to resolve the controversial issues.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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Digression

1/D-31
Feb 21, 2013
09:30 AM

 Dikshit said that the Home Minister had only stated that some people associated with RSS in past have been found involved in some criminal cases.

Dikshit, who comes across as a balanced individual on TV, is being extremely economical with the truth. The Home Minister said (as quoted in Daily Bhaskar)

"After investigations we have seen that be it BJP or RSS, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism."

"RSS was behind the Samjhauta Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts."

The quotation marks are not mine. If Dikshit cannot see the difference betwen what he (Dikshit) thinks Shinde said and what was actually said, he needs to do a refresher course in language.

Bonita, Chennai
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