BJP doubts PM’s bonafides in combating terror

May 18th, 2008 - 7:53 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sunday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s “bonafides” are suspect when it comes to combating terrorism. “Manmohan Singh has used his softness on terror for vote-bank politics rather than for security considerations. He will have to cover a very long distance to re-establish his bonafides in this matter,” BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said.

He was reacting to Manmohan Singh’s statement Saturday that there was need for a federal agency to combat terrorist activities, the latest of which claimed at least 61 lives in Jaipur last week.

“It is obvious that one state alone cannot fight or investigate terrorism. Terrorism, particularly cross-border terrorism, has not only inter-state but also international ramifications,” Jaitley said, adding that more stringent laws were required to meet the terrorist threat.

BJP has been critical of the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), 2002, by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2004. POTA was passed when the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was in power. Since its repeal, the BJP has accused the UPA of being soft on terror to appease the “minority vote-bank”.

“The union government has not given assent to POTA-like laws in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat (all BJP-ruled states),” Jaitley said.

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