But assures it wouldn’t boycott him inside Parliament or disrupt proceedings
Hardening its stand against Sushilkumar Shinde for his comments that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are fanning “saffron terror,” the principal opposition will “boycott” the Home Minister until he tenders an apology.
However, the party does not intend boycotting the Minister inside Parliament and it would not disrupt proceedings when he rises to speak. “But we will raise this issue in Parliament,” BJP president Rajnath Singh said about the decision taken at the party’s core committee meeting here on Thursday. The meeting and the decision came after a rare session of the RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJP leaders.
General secretary Ananth Kumar told journalists that the party would boycott all meetings convened by the Minister, as well his public programmes. Nor would it respond to any communication from Mr. Shinde in his capacity as Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha. “The party workers will boycott all public programmes in which Mr. Shinde is taking part. He will be shown black flags.”
If the boycott continues till the budget session of Parliament, which commences on February 21, it could put the UPA in a spot of bother. As Leader of the House, Mr. Shinde has the crucial job of coordinating with the Opposition to get the government business through.
This is not the first time the BJP has taken the boycott route. Earlier, it boycotted the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram for his alleged role in 2G allotments. It did not allow him to speak in Parliament for an entire session.
Since Mr. Shinde made his comments at the Congress’ chintan shivir in Jaipur, the BJP has been vociferous in its protest. A day after he was elected BJP president, Mr. Singh led a rally and in a belligerent speech made it clear that unless Mr. Shinde apologised, his party would not allow Parliament to function.