Bhopal: Hitting out at Union Home Minister P Chidambaram for his "saffron terrorism" remark, BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said it is a ploy by the Congress to "appease minorities" for vote bank politics.
"I do not believe that there is any such thing as saffron terrorism. The Congress talks about it only for its vote bank politics...Long back, secularism used to mean respect for all religions, but for Congress today it means only appeasement of minorities," Gadkari told a press conference here.
"Terrorists are terrorists irrespective of their religion and it won't be proper to classify them on that basis," he said.
Gadkari said the UPA government was very lax in dealing with terrorists.
"It is expected that the government would deal firmly and strongly with terrorists but it is not doing so," he said.
In the Lok Sabha, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, participating a special discussion on Kashmir valley situation, castigated Chidambaram for raising what he called the spectre of “saffron terrorism”. Joshi warned Congress that such loose remarks could cause a severe backlash.
“Saffron is the colour of peace. It is saffron which established India as a world leader in the ancient ages. Our preachers went as far as China, Tibet, Japan and Korea wearing saffron robes. Even before Independence, a committee of the Congress Party had recommended that if our national flag ever needed a single colour, it should be saffron”, said Dr Joshi, amid thumping of desks by BJP members, as Chidambaram watched smilingly.
At a function in New Delhi on Wednesday, Chidambaram had said, "There is the recently uncovered phenomenon of saffron terrorism that has been implicated in many bomb blasts of the past."
Attacking the Centre for failing to curb Naxalism, Gadkari said the menace was prevalent in 230 districts of the country.
"Naxalism now exists in the country from Pashupatinath to Kanyakumari," he said. PTI