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Stop using saffron terrorism, says BJP

india Updated: Jan 07, 2011 20:14 IST
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There is no such thing as saffron or Hindu terrorism just as there is no Muslim or Islamic terrorism, the BJP said on Friday ahead of its two-day national executive meeting.

"Saffron or Hindu terrorism is a Congress invention to divert attention from one scam after the other under the UPA," said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad. "It's high time we stopped using this term just as we shouldn't be using Muslim or Islamic terrorism."

Prasad admitted the BJP uses the term 'jihadi' to refer to a category of terror-mongers. But, as party president Nitin Gadkari pointed out, this in no way suggests terrorism has anything to do with Islam or any other religion.

"The Congress is bent upon giving a saffron colour to individual acts of terror (in reference to Malegaon blasts)," said Prasad. "Blaming the RSS or Hindutva groups is convenient because the Congress has exceeded all limits of misusing probe agencies such as the CBI."

The BJP credo of disengaging religion from terrorism follows the ruling Congress' accusation that the saffron party was trying to polarize Assam's voters on religious lines. Apart from corruption under UPA, the BJP intends to use anti-immigrant sentiments as an electoral weapon. But while it rants against Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, it wants the Hindus from that country to be treated as refugees fleeing religious persecution.

The BJP won 10 of the 126 Assembly seats in Assam in 2001 as well as in 2006. But unlike those years, it has no pre-poll alliance with the regional Asom Gana Parishad this time.

"This national executive meeting assumes immense significance as Assam prepares for Assembly elections. We hope to eject the Congress," Gadkari said, pointing out a non-Congress government in Assam won't be possible without the BJP's help.

Earlier in the day, local BJP workers protested the Assam government's decision not to provide Gadkari with security along the 26 km route from the airport to the city. "This is deplorable. The government ignored our security concerns despite prior intimation to the authorities about the travel plans of the leaders," said BJP's Assam unit president Ranjit Dutta.

Besides Gadkari and Prasad, some 20 leaders arrived on Friday morning for the two-day meeting. Other heavyweights including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and Murli Manohar Joshi are expected to arrive early on Saturday.