External affairs minister Salman Khurshid today backed home minister Sushilkumar Shinde's statement on "Hindu terrorism" saying it was based "entirely on facts" made available by investigative agencies.
BJP, RSS slams Shinde for Hindu terror remark
He, however, said that terror has no religion and colour.
"Let me just say this to you very clearly that our stated position, that is shared fully by the home minister and past home minister, is based entirely on facts as the investigative agencies have made available to the government," Khurshid told reporters in New Delhi.
Unfazed by BJP's demand for sacking Shinde for his statement, Khurshid said "The attempt to divert attention and to push it in a particular pre-meditated direction by some people was obviously repudiated by the information that was available with the Home Ministry and that is the context in which all these statements are made".
Shinde had earlier this week stoked a controversy by accusing BJP and RSS of conducting terror training camps and promoting "Hindu terrorism".
Defending Shinde, Khurshid said one should not be looking at finer notions of what should be and can be said at any given time.
"I think core understanding is that there are elements who want to use some cover of pretence and some cover of allegation against other groups to continue on their nefarious and unwholesome activities," he said when asked about Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed and LeT trying to exploit Shinde's statement.
Khurshid underlined that any form of violence that is propagated by extremists of any kind, irrespective of religion is what is dangerous for India.
"Terror does not have religion. We have said this very clearly. And religion should not be associated with colour. This we have said very clearly. It is terror that we have to fight. Terror directed against India that we are fighting".
He said those are the facts available to the Home Ministry on which the government have been consistently making the statement.
"I think we should not be distracted by a phrase here or there frankly. The intention, the commitment, the determination is what clearly matters," he said.
Asked specifically if he was supporting Shinde, Khurshid said: "I am simply saying that the Home Ministry as well as any other Ministry makes its position in public and addresses public opinion based on facts that we believe are correct and true."
He said that is what would have been done in this case. "I am only urging you (media) and requesting you not to be distracted by another commentaries that comes from elsewhere, self-serving commentary," Khurshid added.
The Minister said that what was important is that our (India's) position is clear and does not call for any further questions in one form or the other.
"I think our position is very clear. Working on around one phrase or the other does not change positions. Position is clear, precise and based on facts," he said.
RSS seeks Shinde's apology
Describing Shinde's "Hindu terror" remark as "insulting", the RSS on Tuesday demanded that he tender an unconditional apology for this.
"Shinde must apologise for these unacceptable and irresponsible comments," Manmohan Vaidya, RSS' propaganda chief, told reporters in Mumbai.
"The remarks are extremely insulting and he must tender an apology," he said, adding "terrorism has no colour, it should not be linked to Hindus."
Shinde had kicked up a storm when, addressing the recent brainstorming session of Congress at Jaipur, he accused RSS and BJP of promoting Hindu terror.