BJP for PC's resignation over 'saffron terror' remark

Stepping up its attack on home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, over his "saffron terrorism" remark, BJP on Saturday demanded that Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, should sack him if he does not resign for using the "insulting" term.

Senior party leader, Mr Balbir Punj, told reporters the home minister should apologise for "insulting" people's sentiments towards the colour.

"Saffron colour is the symbol of sacrifice and associating it with terrorism is an insult to the Hindu religion," Mr Punj said.

Mr Chidambaram should resign for his remark and if he fails to do so, Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, must drop him from the Union Cabinet, the Rajya Sabha MP said.

He said the home minister's remark was the worst possible example of vote-bank politics.

Mr Chidambaram's remark triggered uproar in Parliament with BJP and Shiv Sena members demanding an apology from him. Even Congress appeared to distance itself from the remarks saying, terror has no colour and that care should be taken on use of words.

Addressing a function of state police chiefs in Delhi earlier this week, Mr Chidambaram had said a new phenomenon of "saffron terrorism" involved in many bomb blasts has been uncovered.

His comments came against the backdrop of investigators finding links between Hindu extremist outfits and at least five bomb blasts in recent years - at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, at Ajmer, Goa, Malegaon in Maharashtra and Modasa in Gujarat.

Describing Dr Singh as a "weak" Prime Minister, the BJP leader said he lacked authority and power to take decisions on vital national issues.

"When our soldiers are fighting bravely against terrorism and Naxalism, the PM has advised them to exercise restraint while taking action," Mr Punj said.

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