The BJP on Saturday stepped up its attack against Home Minister P. Chidambaram for his “saffron terrorism” remark demanding that he be sacked.
A day after Congress appeared to distance itself from the remarks saying terror has no colour and that care should be taken on use of words, BJP MP Balbir Punj demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sack Mr. Chidambaram if he does not resign for using the “insulting” term.
He told reporters here that the Home Minister should apologise for “insulting” people’s sentiments towards the colour. Mr. Punj said the Home Minister’s remark was the worst example of vote-bank politics.
Stung by the expression, senior RSS leader Sureshrao Joshi said in Indore that such a term had no place in society and it should be avoided.
As BJP and Shiv Sena kicked up a row over Mr. Chidambaram’s words at a conference of DGPs earlier this week and demanded an apology from him, Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi stepped in on Friday to do some damage control.
Mr. Dwivedi had said, “... Terrorism does not have colour. Terrorism has only one colour and it is black.”
However, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad said in Patna that the RSS, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal be banned in order contain “saffron terrorism”.
Making a similar demand, LJP supremo Ram Vilas Paswan asked Mr. Chidambaram to make public the evidences to prove “activism of saffron terrorism”. He asked the Prime Minister to immediately intervene and order screening of the functions of these organisations. “Mr. Chidambaram is right on his stand on saffron terrorism,” he said.
Mr. Chidambaram’s remark triggered an uproar in Parliament with BJP and Shiv Sena members demanding an apology from him.
Addressing a function of state police chiefs in Delhi on Wednesday, Mr. Chidambaram had said a new phenomenon of “saffron terrorism” involved in many bomb blasts has been uncovered.
His comments came against the backdrop of investigators finding links between Hindu extremist outfits and at least five bomb blasts in recent years — at Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, at Ajmer, Goa, Malegaon in Maharashtra and Modasa in Gujarat.