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No takers for BJP's 'saffron terror' remark protest

india Updated: Aug 27, 2010 16:28 IST

The BJP today found itself isolated in the Rajya Sabha in its protest against Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement on rise in saffron terrorism with Left and other opposition parties joining hands with Congress to target the main opposition.

When the House re-assembled at Zero Hour after two adjournments on the same issue, Brinda Karat (CPI-M) contested Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley's remark that he represents a large section of the House in speaking against Chidambaram's views about saffron terror.

"He is certainly not (representing the whole House)," she said adding that Jaitley could have spoken on behalf of his party.

A large section of the House is concerned that such elements are being promoted by those who do not believe in basic secular views of the country, Karat said adding, "They (BJP) should have condemned such terror in the name of Hindutva."

This provoked protests from BJP members, who said saffron colour is also part of the national flag.

Satyavrat Chaturvedi (Cong) said his party disagreed with Jaitley's views that there was a legitimate grievance among a large section of the House on the use of the expression by the Home Minister.

D Raja (CPI) said right wing extremism posed a great threat to the country.

Pacifying the members, Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan said that the Leader of the Opposition did not say anything unparliamentary and a member has a right to disassociate from what someone has said.

As the uproar continued for 20 minutes, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal said the session has been extended by two more days to transact important legislative business. He also requested the Chair to take up bills before the Special Mentions listed for the day.

The House saw two adjournments during Question Hour over Chidambaram's statement on rise in saffron terrorism.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice till noon Friday as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena MPs protested Home Minister P. Chidambaram's remarks on "saffron terrorism" at a conference of state police chiefs.

The house was first adjourned on the issue till 11.22 a.m. and later till noon.

The issue came up soon after the house assembled for the day. Shiv Sena member Manohar Joshi objected to the use of the words "saffron terrorism" by the home minister and sought a clarification from the government. He was joined by BJP members.

Ansari repeatedly urged the members to allow question hour to proceed and adjourned the house till 11.22 a.m.

After the house met following the first adjournment, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said he was conveying the grievance of a large section of the house over the use of the term.

He said Chidambaram should clarify his remarks and desist from using such expressions.

The BJP leader said the country had seen various crises over the past three decades, including militancy in Punjab, and the effort had been to keep away references to a community.

He said Chidambaram utilised his speech to "say something he should not have".

The BJP leader said instead of focusing on tackling unrest in Kashmir and the Maoist problem, the home minister was talking about an imaginary phenomenon of terror that does not exist.

Soon after Jaitley's remarks, Chairman Hamid Ansari said a short duration discussion on internal security had been listed in the business and asked the members to let question hour proceed.

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan said Chidambaram had made the remarks as a responsible minister and the phenomenon of "saffron terror" existed.

He demanded a ban on the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal.

BJP members protested over Paswan's remarks, resulting in din in the house. The chairman urged the members to resume their seats but as the protests continued, the house was adjourned till noon.

In his speech Wednesday at the meeting of state police chiefs, Chidambaram cautioned security and intelligence officials against continuing attempts of militants to infilitrate into India as well as the recently uncovered phenomenon of "saffron terrorism". (With IANS inputs)