A day after the BJP top brass met the leadership of the RSS and VHP, the party has upped the ante against Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for his “Hindu terror” remarks.
After the BJP core group meeting here on Friday, party president Rajnath Singh announced a “complete boycott” of the Home Minister.
The party said it would not respond to any communication from Shinde as Leader of the Lower House, until he apologises for the remarks. The main Opposition party added that they would boycott Shinde even if he calls a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition.
The government, thus, may find it difficult to have a hassle-free business in the Lower House in the Budget Session of Parliament.
From Saturday, Shinde would be shown black flags by BJP workers wherever he goes in the country.
Rajnath, however, said his party would not boycott Shinde inside Parliament and will not disrupt proceedings when he rises to speak. “But we will raise the issue in Parliament,” he said.
“The Core Group observed that Shinde’s remarks have hurt the sentiments of the Hindus. It condemned his comments that BJP and RSS are run terror training camps. The party has decided that its members and workers will boycott all public programmes in which Shinde is taking part. He will be shown black flags,” BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar said after the meeting.
The BJP had earlier demanded Shinde be sacked for the “Hindu terror” remarks. It had also demanded an apology from the Prime Minister and the Congress president on the issue.
The core group meeting, the first after Rajnath took over as party president on January 23, was attended by L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ram Lal, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Thawarchand Gehlot, besides Rajnath, and it lasted for over two hours.
Murli Manohar Joshi and M Venkaiah Naidu were among the leaders who could not attend the meeting as they were not in the town.
Besides the Shinde issue, the Core Group also discussed the developments in the Karnataka BJP, said Gehlot. “We basically exchanged notes on the present situation there. Though there’s no immediate threat to the government, the final hurdle remains-- the budget session. One view is that the government may resign after the budget session.”
The meeting also discussed the upcoming national council/national executive meetings that will ratify Rajnath’s election. Ananth Kumar, however, said that no final decision has been taken either on the venue or the date. The meetings are likely to be held either in Bhopal or Raipur in mid-February.