New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday blamed the policies of the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance government and its focus on ‘Hindu terror’ for the Gurdaspur terror attack.
Mr. Singh’s statement in the Lok Sabha triggered an angry reaction from the Congress, which picked holes in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pakistan policy.
After giving his official statement on Monday’s terror attack in Gurdaspur, Singh said that the term ‘Hindu terror’ which has been coined by the UPA had helped terrorists from across the border and was a ploy by the Congress-led UPA to distract the country’s attention from terror.
Earlier, the Congress MPs had withdrawn from the Well of the House and returned to their seats to enable Mr. Singh to make his statement. As soon as the Home Minister finished, MPs from the Opposition wanted to speak.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Parliamentary Affairs MinisterM. Venkaiah Naiduadded that a discussion would be possible only as per the laid down procedure by giving a notice. Mr. Singh then rose again and lashed out at the Congress MPs even as they rushed to the Well of the House.
“Parliament should not appear divided on this issue. Soldiers are being martyred and we have noise and chaos in the House, when the matter is being discussed…There have been attempts [earlier] to divert attention of the country from terror. It has no caste, sect or religion,” Mr. Singh said.
“In 2013, the [then] Home Minister coined the term Hindu terror to divert attention of the people. The coinage led to Hafiz Saeed congratulating the Home Minister…Whatever is happening now is the result of the UPA’s policies,” Mr. Singh said amid loud protests from the Congress. He charged the UPA with going soft on terror.
Reacting to Mr. Singh’s statement, Congress leader Anand Sharma said: “The Congress doesn’t need lessons on terror from the BJP and the RSS.” He said the two organisations had “repeatedly tried to pin down terror to one community that is a minority.” Mr. Sharma blamed the Prime Minister’s Pakistan policy for the terror attack. “The PM should tell the people of India what assurance he got from Pakistan in Ufa,” he said. “Modi’s foreign policy has no direction, no thought,” he charged.