The main Opposition BJP on Tuesday decided to shift its protest over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks about plans for minorities outside Parliament, citing other issues that it plans to raise in both Houses before the session winds up.
Leader of the Opposition LK Advani told BJP MPs that they should launch a campaign in their constituencies against Singh's remarks that plans for minorities, especially Muslims, must have the first claim on the country's resources.
"Advani said there should be a countrywide campaign against such comments as they reek of communalism," deputy leader of the Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra told reporters after the BJP's parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi.
The party, Malhotra said, regarded Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia's "clarifications" of the Prime Minister's remarks as in fact a "confirmation" of what he had spoken at the National Development Council (NDC) meeting on Saturday.
In Parliament, the BJP will raise other issues, such as the India-US nuclear deal and the woes of Kashmiri Pandits, which it has on its agenda for the remaining session, he said.
Ahead of its national executive meeting in Lucknow from December 22, the BJP will hold demonstrations and sit-in protests across the country to protest the Prime Minister's comments on Saturday at the NDC meeting, party chief Rajnath Singh said.
With Vande Mataram topping the BJP's agenda at its Dehradun conclave in September, he said the party would take up Singh's minority comments as a key issue at its Lucknow meeting.