Rae Bareli: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Saturday accused Congress of insulting the Hindu religion across the globe in the name of "saffron terrorism".
"The Congress should apologise for the term 'saffron terrorism'. The party must apologise for defaming Hindu culture, insulting Hindus," he said at a public meeting in the Gandhi family's home turf.
"The grand old party will never apologise to the Hindu community because of its vote bank politics," Shah said. Referring to the acquittal of preacher Swami Aseemanand in the Mecca Masjid blast case, he sought to target the Congress over the party's attempts to "defame" Hindus in terror cases.
"Charges were levelled during the Congress government against Aseemanandji and others but they have been acquitted by the court. I want to ask Rahul 'baba', your home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, P Chidambaram, Digvijay Singh and all had tried to defame Hindu culture by talking about saffron terrorism. You need to apologise before the entire country," Shah added.
He also said that BJP will rid Rae Bareli of 'parivarvad' (dynastic politics) and take it on to the path of `vikaswad' or development.
"Rae Bareli has seen 'parivarvad' (dynastic politics) ever since Independence till this day and no development. I have come here to make it clear that the BJP will free Rae Bareli of 'parivarvad' and will start the campaign from today itself for taking it on the path of 'vikasvad' (development)," Shah said.
"The Congress and its top leadership have ruled in Uttar Pradesh and Rae Bareli for years but the 'bhumi pujan' of community health centre and primary health centre was carried out only lately and the Yogi Adityanath-led state government has done a lot for the constituency. Now with some Congress leaders here joining the BJP, it is our responsibility to develop it by leaps and bounds. We will develop it as an ideal constituency and a model district," he added.
Though the BJP swept UP in the 2014 general election, the BJP lost both Rae Bareli and Amethi to the Congress. Barring three exceptions - 1977, 1996 and 1998 - Rae Bareli has stood with the Congress since 1952.
Rae Bareli is currently represented by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, a four-term MP. Amethi is represented in Parliament by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
(With PTI inputs)