Terror attacks fail to impact on CongressDecember 8th, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The terrorist attack in Mumbai that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had hoped would harm the electoral prospects of the Congress failed to sway voters away from the party as people felt it was not an issue to be politicised, says a triumphant Congress.Even before the blood had been mopped up from the three-day terror drama in Mumbai where gunmen killed 172 people, the opposition BJP took out huge advertisements slamming the Congress for being unable to defend the nation and promised better security if voted into power.
“Partisan politics in the name of terrorism has backfired. Terror is not an issue to be politicised. We see terrorism as a threat to India and not something that is party specific,” said Tom Vadakkan, the Congress media secretary, as his party looked set to win in three of the five states.
“We appealed to people to fight this evil unitedly. But the BJP tried to use it as an election issue to gain votes.”
“It shows the maturity of our democracy and the depth of the democratic aspirations of the people of our country. Politicians should realise that people’s emotions on issues like terrorism and communalism cannot be politicised,” added Mohammed Salim, Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) deputy leader in the Lok Sabha.
All four states barring Chhattisgarh, where two rounds of balloting had already ended, went to polls after Nov 26 when terrorists held Mumbai to ransom.
An upbeat Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that events in Mumbai did not affect the election outcome - Delhi had voted when the denouement of the terror siege in Mumbai was still being played out.
“The attack in Mumbai in an attack on India. People should not politicise terrorism. This is something against the country and people have rejected the BJP’s stand on terrorism.”
Criticism over the economy and security has helped the BJP win a string of state elections last year but this time around the verdict has been different.
Even BJP president Rajnath Singh conceded that the terror attacks had not impacted significantly on voters’ minds despite the party’s high-pitched clamour to pin the blame on the Congress.
“Local issues were given more importance, and voters it seems had already made up their mind (who to vote for),” he said.
While public anger against politicians for failing to prevent terror attacks in the country grew, so did voter turnout in the state elections.
Chhattisgarh, which went to polls before the terror attack, recorded a voter turnout of 68 percent, Mizoram 72 percent, Madhya Pradesh 69.35 percent, Rajasthan 66.38 percent and Delhi 57.72 percent.
Tags: bharatiya janata party, communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, democratic aspirations, election outcome, electoral prospects, Lok Sabha, media secretary, mumbai terror attack, sheila dikshit, state elections