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Issue is terror, not its colour: Cong
New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS):
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Published on 27 Aug. 2010 10:34 PM IST
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Seeking to end the controversy over the “saffron terrorism” remarks of Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the Congress said Friday that the issue was terror and not its colour.
“Saffron, bhagwa or kesariya (Hindi words for saffron) is not an issue. The issue is terrorism. Terrorism does not have any colour. It has only one colour and it is black,” Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
Dwivedi, who is in charge of the Congress’ media department, said whether it is called saffron, green, white or red, terrorism is terrorism.
“Terrorism is terrorism and it should be opposed in whatever form it comes. The saffron colour has been part of our ancient tradition and is associated with our freedom struggle. No particular section of society has a sole right on it,” he said. Dwivedi’s remarks came on a day the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally Shiv Sena forced two adjournments of the Rajya Sabha on the issue in the morning. Objecting to the home minister’s remarks, they said that it was wrong to associate terrorism with any community or colour.
The Congress had Thursday brushed aside the controversy over Chidambaram’s remarks, saying that there was no need to get bogged down in nomenclature but to look at the substance of his remarks on the activities of organizations affiliated to right-wing ideology which have been found to be involved in acts of terror.
However, with the BJP showing inclination to raise its pitch on the issue ahead of Bihar assembly polls, the Congress has sought to perform a balancing act.
Congress sources said that the party also did not want the issue to disrupt proceedings in parliament at a time when important legislative agenda was pending and the session had been extended by two days.
In his speech Wednesday at the meeting of state police chiefs, Chidambaram cautioned security and intelligence officials against continuing attempts of militants to infiltrate into India as well as the recently uncovered phenomenon of “saffron terrorism”.
Rajya Sabha stalled over PC’s remark
“There cannot be Bhagwa (saffron) terrorism,” he said demanding that Chidambaram should give names of people connected with terror when making such statements. He found support in BJP members who shouted slogans like “Hinduo ka apman nahi chalega” (insult to Hindus will not be tolerated).
Chairman Hamid Ansari said no one was being heard with so many people speaking simultaneously and asked the members to allow Question Hour to proceed. “We have important questions. Please allow Question Hour to proceed,” he said as he called Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley to speak on the issue.
But Jaitley could not speak as members in the ruling benches and Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan countered him. Paswan made a reference to RSS’ association with terrorism, leading to BJP members rushing into the well shouting slogans like “RSS ka apman nahi chalega (insult to RSS will not be tolerated).”Ansari first asked members to return to the places but when they did not relent, he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
When the House reassembled, Jaitley said there was a legitimate grievance among a large section of the House on the use of the expression by the Home Minister. The country had faced militancy in Punjab, Naxal violence, Kashmir problem and other forms of terrorism but they were never associated with any community or religion, he said. Jaitley said he expected Chidambaram to come out with a strategy to deal with Maoist violence and the Kashmir problem but instead he raised the issue of “phenomenon of saffron terror.” “He is trying to fight imaginary (saffron) terrorism,” he said adding the Home Minister should be advised that he desist from linking communities with terrorism.
Paswan said Chidambaram had made the statement as a responsible minister of the government and saffron terrorism should be dealt firmly.
“The government should ban VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS,” he said leading to an uproar from BJP members, some of whom rushed into the well for the second time.
Ansari said a discussion internal security was slated during the current session and these issues could be raised then.

 
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