New Delhi, July 31: The government on Friday hit out at the Congress, saying the term "Hindu terrorism" coined by its previous government had "weakened" the fight against the scourge by diverting the direction of probe into the incidents of terrorism.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who made a statement on the Gurdaspur attack in Lok Sabha a day after his speech on the issue was disrupted in Rajya Sabha, attacked the opposition for making it appear that Parliament is divided on terrorism.
After making the statement, he raked up a host of issues, including the Sharm-el Sheikh fiasco and statements at Havana NAM Summit besides the 1962 war with China, to underline Congress' alleged failures, adding fuel to fire in the protests.
Singh's statement on the Gurdaspur attack was heard in rapt attention with Congress members suspending their protests and returning to their seats from the Well after the Leader of the party Mallikarjun Kharge asked him to do so.
But as soon as he concluded his statement, Congress members again stormed the Well and it was a scene of protests and disruptions in the House as seen from day one of the Monsoon session over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues.
This prompted Singh to attack the Congress. "Terrorism is the biggest challenge facing the country. Neither Parliament nor the country should appear divided on this... On the one hand, our jawans making the supreme sacrifice while fighting against terror, on the other we have this noise and disruption. How can the country accept this," he said. Expressing readiness to answer any question on the issue if proper notice is given for a discussion, he said, "Our government and the Prime Minister are constantly making efforts to deal with the challenge."
As the protests intensified, he hit back, "In this House in 2013, the then Home Minister (P Chidambaram) had coined the new terminology 'Hindu terrorism' in order to change the direction of probe. It weakened our fight. As a consequence, Hafiz Sayeed (LeT founder) of Pakistan had congratulated the then Home Minister. Our government will never allow such a shameful situation again."
Livid Congress members wanted to react but were not allowed by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, prompting angry protests by the opposition lawmakers, many of whom were seen waving the rule book to make their point.
"This is very unfortunate. You are losing our respect," Kharge was heard remarking amid the din. Opposiiton members crowded around her table to draw her attention that she should allow Kharge to speak but in vain.