The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday slammed the Pakistan government for encouraging cross-border terrorism and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav for trying to shield the Students Islamic Movement of India.
SIMI is one of the organisations suspected to be behind Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi led a 5,000-strong band of party demonstrators who staged a protest march from the UP BJP headquarters in Lucknow to a nearby statue of Sardar Patel where prominent party leaders addressed the gathering.
"Pakistan was clearly behind the terrorist acts in India and the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has failed miserably in tackling the menace," Joshi told the gathering.
"The manner in which the Pakistan foreign minister has been trying to justify Kashmiri terrorist acts clearly reflects that they were hand-in-glove," Joshi said, referring to Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri's recent statement that the Mumbai blasts showed 'core issues' between India and Pakistan needed to be sorted out.
"It was amply evident that Pakistan wanted to grab Kashmir and was therefore fuelling terrorist acts in India," Joshi said.
"If Pakistan thinks that country is incomplete without Kashmir, let us make it loud and clear to them that in that case India is also incomplete without Pakistan," the BJP leader thundered.
Joshi sought the resignation of two Union ministers -- Arjun Singh and A R Antulay who had reportedly said that some Hindus could also be behind the Mumbai blasts.
On Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's reported pro-SIMI stand, Joshi said, "It is a matter of serious concern that in his bid to play vote-bank politics, the chief minister of a state is willing to hold a brief for a terrorist organisation."
He sought to hold the Congress led-UPA government as well as the UP state government equally responsible for unabated terrorist acts in the country.
Pointedly alleging the involvement of one UP minister with SIMI, Joshi demanded the ouster of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government.
Meanwhile, at a rally in Nagpur, BJP president Rajnath Singh also breathed fire against the UP government and Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"The UP governor and the Centre should take cognisance of statements of UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is advocating the cause of SIMI which is involved in supporting terrorist activities in the country," Rajnath told reporters.
He said a ban on SIMI was rightly imposed during his tenure as the state's chief minister in 2001.
Rajnath, who is in Nagpur to launch a nation-wide agitation against growing prices of essential commodities and the United Progressive Alliance government's 'failure to curb terror,' questioned the propriety of confidence-building measures with Pakistan, which he said "has not stopped supporting terrorism and giving shelter to terrorists."
With inputs from PTI