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Rahul should apologise for Hindu terror remark: Shah

Our Bureaus New Delhi/Bengaluru | Updated on April 18, 2018 Published on April 18, 2018

BJP President Amit Shah offers tribute to Lord Basaveshwara on the occasion of Basava Jayanti, in Bengaluru on Wednesday   -  PTI

Mecca Masjid ruling triggers shift in BJP’s poll tactic in Karnataka

Painting the Congress and Rahul Gandhi as anti-Hindu seems to be emerging as the BJP’s main electoral plank in the ongoing Karnataka Assembly elections, with the saffron party’s President Amit Shah on Wednesday demanding an apology from the Congress President for “defaming the country in the name of saffron and Hindu terror”.

Shah, who was addressing a meeting of the BJP’s Shakti Kendra workers at Bengaluru, said the Congress had “committed the sin of linking the great Hindu culture with terrorism”, and should apologise.

Wikileaks cable of 2010

The BJP chief was referring to a 2008 conversation between Rahul Gandhi and the then US ambassador Timothy Roemer during which the Congress President had allegedly maintained that the “growth of radicalised Hindu groups” may be a bigger threat to India than Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. The conversation had been part of the various tranches of cables released by Wikileaks in 2010.

The BJP’s new poll tactic emerged after an anti-terror court acquitted five right-wing activists, including the ideologue Aseemanand, in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. The party has been terming the NIA investigations, which began during the Congress-led UPA’s tenure, as a conspiracy against Hindus.

“The great Hindu culture taught the world about culture, peace and civilisation for lakhs of years, and the Congress party has committed a sin by linking it to saffron terror,” Shah said on Wednesday, a day after his party levelled similar charges against the Congress chief.

“The decision of the court to acquit the accused in Mecca Masjid blast case proves that Sonia-Manmohan government conspired to defame the country by raising the bogey of saffron and Hindu terror. For so many years, the Congress leaders kept repeating the lies about Hindu terror on various international fora. For this conspiracy, Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the country,” said the BJP leader.

Congress’ denial

The Congress had on Monday said there was nothing called ‘saffron terror’ and that terror could not be linked to any community. The party had also asserted that neither Rahul Gandhi nor the party had ever used the phrase.

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Published on April 18, 2018
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