Digvijay objects to use of 'saffron terror' phrase

New Delhi, Sept. 1: Differences within the Congress on the use of the phrase 'saffron terror' showed no signs of ending with Digvijay Singh saying that he had objection to the words.

“I have objection to the use of caste, colour and religion to describe terror,” the senior Congress leader told reporters shortly after home minister P. Chidambaram maintained the the phrase had brought home the message of right-wing terror and the purpose had been served.

Singh, who the media had earlier credited with the use of the phrase first in the Congress, said the word saffron symbolises valour and has religious connotations and that terrorism had no colour.

However, he used the the word “Hindu fundamentalists” to describe right wing terror. “Terrorism in the country arises from fundamentalists among the Hindus and the Muslims,” Singh said.

Targeting the BJP, the AICC General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh said that the opposition party should not hide behind the word 'saffron' and should come clean on the activities of some its affiliates allegedly having terror links.

Asked about Chidambaram's comment that saffron terror phrase was not his patent, Singh said, “he should come out with the name of the patent holder”.

Noting that Left organisations have been using the phrase “saffron terror”, Singh said, “In India, saffron is associated with valour and has religious connotations”.

Singh, who has been at loggerheads with Chidambaram on issues like tackling the Naxal menace and the changes in the Arms Act, however, said that he was “very happy” that the home ministry has taken note of the activities of the “Hindu fundamentalists”.

Though the Congress distanced itself from the use of the phrase 'saffron terror', the Home Minister today said, “These are religious fundamentalist groups. The message ought not to be lost in phrases and perhaps the use of that phrase has brought the message home. So, the purpose, in a way, has been served.”

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