BJP refuses to accept government clarification on Antulay

December 23rd, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) Refusing to accept the government’s explanation on Minorities Affairs Minister A.R. Antulay’s remarks on the death of a Maharashtra police officer, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday said the Congress-led government was “playing minority appeasement politics” and it would take the issue to the people. Home Minister P. Chidambaram made a statement in parliament, clarifying that Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare was killed by terrorists during a strike in Mumbai on Nov 26. Antulay had raised questions over the circumstances leading to the death of Karkare, who was probing the Sep 29 Malegaon blast in which Hindu groups were allegedly involved.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has decided to put a full stop to the controversy with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that the controversy has ended with the home minister making a statement in parliament.

“The matter should be allowed to rest there, to err is human,” Manmohan told reporters outside Parliament House.

However, the BJP was very critical of the government’s stand.

“The Congress is playing minority appeasement politics at the expense of Antulay, who has helped Pakistan by making anti-national statements. We will take the matter to the people,” BJP deputy chief whip in the Lok Sabha Karbela Swain told IANS.

Antulay had submitted his resignation to the prime minister and sought the Congress leaders’ permission to make a statement in parliament, Swain said.

“Antulay met us in the inner lobby of parliament yesterday (Monday) and told us that he has submitted his resignation to the prime minister. He also told us that he would make a statement today (Tuesday) in parliament,” Swain claimed.

“The Congress leadership’s political interest prevented Antulay’s resignation,” Swain said.

“The remarks by Antulay emboldens the Pakistani view that Hemant Karkare and other police officials were not killed by Pakistani terrorists. He has hinted that Hindu terrorists and the army are responsible for the killing of the police officers,” Swain alleged.

Members of the BJP and the Shiv Sena disrupted proceedings of both houses of parliament repeatedly Monday and Tuesday, demanding Antulay’s ouster from the cabinet.

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