Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday expressed “regret” over his controversial “Hindu terror” remark made in the Congress’ Jaipur conclave last month, a step aimed at pacifying a combative Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the crucial Budget session.
In a statement, Mr. Shinde said his comments had created a misunderstanding. “It has been understood to mean that I was linking terrorism to a particular religion and was accusing certain political organisations of being involved in organising terror camps,” he said.
Mr. Shinde, who is also Leader of the Lok Sabha, further said: “I had no intention to link terror to any religion. There is no basis for suggesting that terror can be linked to organisations mentioned in my brief speech in Jaipur.”
“Since controversy has been created on account of my statement, I am issuing this clarification and expressing regret to those who felt hurt by my statement. I will continue to perform my duties to the best of my ability to ensure harmony is maintained in social fabric of India,” he added.
The Home Minister has been at the BJP’s receiving end since he made the controversial comment accusing the party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of promoting “Hindu terrorism” through training camps. Though Mr. Shinde had later toed his party’s line that “terrorism has no colour,” the BJP has been seeking an apology from him and threatening to boycott him in Parliament.
It could have come earlier, says BJP
Meanwhile, the BJP has welcomed Mr. Shinde’s statement and said it could have come earlier. Hoping that it would now pave way for doing some constructive business in the Budget session, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman said Mr. Shinde’s retracting his statement was a lesson for people who level baseless allegations against the BJP and the RSS. “Terror cannot be liked to any religion…any such attempts will threaten national security and social harmony,” she added.