Political slugfest over Malegaon blasts, Advani quietNovember 12th, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) The involvement of Hindu radical leaders in the Malegaon bombing that killed six people Wednesday turned into a political slugfest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, but BJP leader L.K. Advani refused to speak on the issue.And while the Congress and the BJP traded charges, one more person was arrested in the case from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, taking the number taken into custody to 10.
BJP president Rajnath Singh went ballistic during a tour of election-bound Chhattisgarh, calling the police action against Hindu activist Sadhvi Pragya “a conspiracy hatched by the Congress to target Hindu leaders”.
In sharp contrast, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, who had earlier stated that action should be taken against the sadhvi if she was indeed involved in the terror attack, kept quiet.
When a television channel asked him in Chennai about the involvement of Hindu radicals in the Malegaon blasts, Advani said: “At present I would not like to say anything. I am here to release the Tamil translation of my book (autobiography).”
Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily and spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad shot back, asserting that BJP leaders were sheltering Hindu radicals. “The BJP is going soft on terror,” Ahmad said.
The involvement of “rightwing organisations in terror activities is no longer a secret”, Ahmad said.
Besides BJP president Rajnath Singh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal and former BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu also hit out at the government.
Singhal threatened “massive protests … if Hindu religious leaders are insulted like this.
“It is an insult of a religious leader to subject him or her to a narco analysis test; this is too much.”
The tone of the BJP’s outburst was set by Rajnath Singh, who said the Congress was framing Hindu leaders in the Malegaon case with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections in six states.
“I ask the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government - is it necessary to communalise terrorism to win elections? If this government is really serious about tackling terrorism, then why is it not enacting a tough law to rein in terrorists?” he asked.
“In fact, this government failed to execute the death sentence of Afzal Guru, the man convicted for masterminding the attack on parliament.
“The UPA government is giving terrorism a communal hue by deliberately targeting Hindu religious leaders. It will result in communal polarisation of Hindus and Muslims in the country,” he added.