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KOLKATA: Raising objections to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's recent “saffron terror” remark, the former Bharatiya Janata Party president, Rajnath Singh, demanded here on Friday that Mr. Chidambaram take back his comment. Mr. Singh said this was a deliberate attempt by the UPA government to malign nationalist forces.
“This is a conspiracy of the Congress government to demoralise nationalist forces in the country and rumour is that they also want to implicate the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] in this,” Mr. Singh told journalists.
He said if Mr. Chidambaram had used the words inadvertently, he should withdraw his remark, or else apologise. The BJP leader also said that his party would raise the issue in Parliament.
Asked how serious his party perceived the threat of terror from Hindu fundamentalist groups, Mr. Singh said: “There may be some individuals who are involved, but the entire community is not. On the question of terror or violence there is no sanction in Hindutva.”
He said his party had never labelled any act “Islamic terror” as “terror has no caste, creed or religion.” Mr. Singh also raised the issue of danger of tampering with electronic voting machines (EVMs) following the recent arrest of technologist Hari Prasad who demonstrated how EVMs can be manipulated.
Many European countries have switched over to paper ballot voting, including the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Italy, because EVMs can be tampered with, Mr. Singh said, demanding that Mr. Prasad be released as his intentions cannot be doubted.
Commenting on UPA's stand on relations with China, Mr. Singh said: “According to the information that we have, China is lining nuclear warheads and missiles along the India-China border. China is outsourcing its enmity for India, routing it through Pakistan. The Government of India should immediately declare that this would be treated as an unfriendly act.”
Commenting on the political situation in West Bengal, he said he was confident that the CPI (M) would suffer further setbacks and be thrown out of power in the polls. .
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