Sonia blasts Advani on Kandahar hijack issueApril 3rd, 2008 - 6:48 pm ICT by admin
Dungarpur (Rajasthan), April 3 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday launched a sharp attack on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani for his ambivalence on the 1999 hijack of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar. “The BJP keeps bringing up the issue of patriotism. But whose government was it that played a good host to the terrorists and provided a safe passage to them to Kandahar?” Gandhi asked at the rally in this town, about 500 km from Jaipur.
Carrying on the tirade, Gandhi said: “Advani says he did not know that the foreign minister (Jaswant Singh) was accompanying the terrorists. What do you and I make of this? The prime minister (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) did not have faith in his home minister (Advani)?”
The then BJP government in which Vajpayee was prime minister, Advani home minister and Jaswant Singh foreign minister released three terrorists to bring back 160 passengers of the hijacked IC-814 plane.
Advani had said since the release of his autobiography “My Country My Life” that he was not aware of the Indian government decision to send foreign minister Jaswant Singh with the three Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists to Kandahar in December 1999.
Although the Congress has been criticising Advani for what it terms “selective amnesia” on the part of Advani on the Kandahar issue, this is the first time Gandhi has spoken on the subject.
Gandhi also said she was concerned about the rising prices but the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was making the best possible efforts to control it.
“The prices of petroleum, wheat, rice and sugar has risen in the international markets like never before and this has pushed up the prices,” she said.
Gandhi’s rally in this tribal belt is seen as kicking off the Congress campaign for the coming assembly polls in Rajasthan.
Congress leaders plan to impress the electorate with government measures like the Tribal Rights Bill and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) that are targeted at improving the lot of the tribals and the poor.
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Tags: assembly polls, bjp government, congress campaign, congress leaders, congress president sonia gandhi, government decision, government measures, home minister, indian airlines plane, jaish, janata party, kandahar, l k advselective amnesia, minister jaswant singh, progressive alliance, safe passage, tribal belt, tribal rights, vajpayee