Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's reference to “saffron terrorism” on Wednesday led to the disruption of the Lok Sabha proceedings on Thursday, with the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party members demanding an apology from him.

Raising the matter during zero hour, Shiv Sena members stormed the well of the House to protest against Mr. Chidambaram's remarks at a conference of State police chiefs. He had said a new phenomenon of “saffron terrorism,” involved in many bomb blasts, was uncovered.

Ananth Kumar and other BJP members were on their feet in support of the Shiv Sena members, who later staged a walkout.

Participating in a special discussion later on the situation in the Kashmir Valley, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi objected to Mr. Chidambaram's remarks.

Noting that ‘saffron' was a symbol of peace and could not be linked to terrorism, Dr. Joshi warned that if such language was used against it, there would be a negative reaction. “Maybe you want that reaction, and that is why you have said it.”

Speaker Meira Kumar restored order, assuring the members that the matter would be discussed in her chamber.

Proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were also disrupted briefly, when Lok Jan Shakthi Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan demanded that question hour be suspended to discuss the issue of rise of “saffron terrorism.” As soon as the House met for the day, he stood up and wanted to know the fate of his notice for suspension of question hour to discuss the rise of “saffron terror” as pointed out by Mr. Chidambaram.