Advani avoids commenting on Varun, targets UPA (Lead)March 29th, 2009 - 12:16 am ICT by IANS
Lucknow, March 28 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani, addressing a rally Saturday in Uttar Pradesh barely hours after party leader Varun Gandhi was jailed for reported hate speeches, preferred not to comment on the controversy and chose to criticise the Congress-led government instead.
Advani did not speak about the issue during his 20-minute speech in Maharajganj district, as he blamed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for failing to contain terrorism.
Referring to the Nov 26-29 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, Advani said, “Even after having the knowledge that terrorists could attack (Mumbai) using the sea route, the government just failed to take any measures to prevent the strike.”
He admitted the country faced several terrorist strikes during the previous, BJP-led National Democratic Allaince (NDA) rule when he was the home minister. “There was an attack on the parliament complex during our rule, but unlike the UPA government we acted tough against terror and took necessary steps to fight terrorism,” he added.
He also held the central government responsible for farmers’ suicides in different parts of the country.
Advani attacked Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the main opposition Samajwadi Party for allegedly not making any serious efforts for development of the state.
“BSP and Samajwadi Party both are responsible for misrule in the state.”
He said the NDA, if voted to power, would ensure every child in the country becomes computer literate. “Besides IT, we will also work in improving health care and educational standards in the country,” said Advani.
Advani said that India’s progress lies with the BJP. “If BJP wins, India will win.”
He appealed to the young voters to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. “There are over 10 crore (100 million) new voters in the country and voting is not only your right but also a duty.”
Several BJP leaders, including the party’s MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath and state president Ramapati Ram Tripathi, were present at the rally.
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