According to a report published in Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde recently wrote to the Leader of the Opposition, Sushma Swaraj, telling her that he did not mean to demean any religion through his recent remark. He said he abided by his party's belief that terrorism has no colour.
The BJP's top brass had a talk after receiving Shinde's letter but decided against softening its stand on Shinde, saying the latter did not apologise for his remark that the BJP and RSS run terror camps in the country. The party, which decided to boycott Shinde and also filed a case against him, said it could consider not to boycott Shinde if the latter withdrew his comment.
The Congress leadership is worried that if the BJP indeed adopts an aggressive stand against Shinde and the party during the parliamentary session, the country could witness an ugly repetition of last year's experience when parliamentary sessions were badly disrupted. The ruling alliance can not afford to let another parliamentary session go waste for it is banking heavily on this session to showcase some of its pro-election measures, in terms of budget and bills. It will be requiring backing of the BJP and the Shinde episode has evolved into a thorn in the flesh.
As per the report's analysis, the Congress believes that it has already nullifed the BJP's attack by hanging Guru and the latter would not have much ammunition left to corner the Congress on the question of 'Hindu terror'. According to Congress sources, the BJP has shown a softer side by at least initiating talks among its leaders on the issue.
The BJP, however, thinks differently. It said it would project the Congress's government's delay in carrying out the execution. It countered that the 'secular' Congress had a bigger stake in protecting the majority vote-bank than the BJP and hence would be facing more problem in finding a balance between the majority and minority support. The BJP has only banked on majority sentiments and is hoping to earn more political mileage through it vis-a-vis the Congress.