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PC defends 'saffron terror' remark

Last updated: 01 September, 2010
Deepak K Upreti, New Delhi, Sep 1, DH News Service: 0:08 IST

War of words: It has been used by many others before, says Home Minister

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday defended himself on the use of term ''saffron'' to describe the alleged right wing terrorism.

Chidambaram pointed out that he is not the first person to use the phrase “saffron terror” as it has been used many a time, including by some ministers of the UPA government.

“I cannot claim patent on the phrase,” Chidambaram said answering a question here at a press conference on the occasion of presenting the monthly report of his ministry to newspersons.

Censured by the Congress party for using phrase “saffron terror” in his address to DGPs/IGPs conference here last month, the Home Minister said he was referring to the right wing religious fundamentalists.

“The message is that the right wing fundamentalists are suspected to be behind some bomb blasts. Saffron terror ensured that the message is not lost,” he said.

Asked about one of his party members striking a different tone on the saffron colour and describing it as “colour of freedom struggle” , he said “party is supreme” and that he was on the same page as the government on the issue.

Chidambaram said the word “saffron” was used many a times in the past in the Parliament like “saffonisation of education”.

He said it correctly conveys the message. He skirted the query when asked whether it denoted “Hindu fundamentalism”.

“Meaning should not be lost in phrases,” he said .

On the Kashmir front, Chidambaram said the government was ready to discuss with any group which is willing to have peace talks. “We hope to start dialogue,” he said, but refused to give any date for talks.

The home minister refused to make any guess on Babri structure title suit row on which Allahabad High Court is expected to deliver judgment before September 30.

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