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Shinde regret rift in Sangh

New Delhi, Feb. 21: The RSS today appeared dissatisfied with Sushil Kumar Shinde’s “regret” over his remarks on alleged terror camps but the BJP indicated it would “let matters rest”.

The RSS demanded an unequivocal apology from the Union home minister, saying regret was inadequate.

Sangh spokesperson Ram Madhav tweeted: “Shinde’s Jaipur comments were derogatory defamatory. He merely regretted. He shud hv apologized. Also shud have condemned Pak terrorists.”

Madhav added: “Can we expect d hon’ble home secretary 2 again defend his boss as he did after Jaipur and state dat his statement was also not based on facts!”

Shinde had yesterday said his statement last month was misunderstood. “I had no intention of linking terrorism with any religion. There is no basis for suggesting that terror could be linked with the organisations mentioned in my brief speech at Jaipur,” he said. “…I am issuing this clarification and express regret….”

A Sangh source said swayamsevaks were “upset” with the perception that the BJP had “sold itself short” to the government and the Congress by being “satisfied” with a statement they felt was neither a “regret” nor an “apology”.

The reactions to Madhav’s tweet reflected the disquiet. Shashank Chandra tweeted: “Why has BJP RSS let him (Shinde) go so easy? His apology shud have been more direct plus an u/t (undertaking) never to repeat such utterances.”

Girish Poder’s tweet read: “Congress fooled the foolish BJP leaders with a scrap of paper just as they did with Anna Hazareji. Pathetic SS (Sushma Swaraj), AJ (Arun Jaitley) and gang.”

Madhav, however, denied differences with the BJP when he spoke later. “If they accepted Shinde’s statement, the acceptance is within their purview. It does not mean we have differences with the BJP.”

Asked about Madhav’s tweet, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “We accept this regret from the home minister but this ought to have come much earlier.”