Sunday 14 September 2008

Govt soft on terror: Advani

Swagata Sen

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, Lal Krishna Advani, began his Vijay Sankalp Yatra at Bangalore’s National College Grounds with a strong message against terrorism, where he blamed the ruling government’s soft approach to terrorism which was responsible for the recent spate of serial blasts in the country, culminating with those in Delhi on Saturday evening.

Addressing the first rally of the nationwide journey that he has taken up to campaign in the light of the forthcoming general elections, Advani said that “intelligence failure” cannot be cited as a reason for the government’s not being able to prevent the blasts

Ten days ago, the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had met the national security advisor and informed the prime minister and the home minister that his state police’s investigations had shown that Delhi was the next target for blasts.

A tough approach to terrorism is one of the BJP’s most important issues in the forthcoming elections, as Advani, along with party president Rajnath Singh, reiterated their stand on implementing stringent anti-terrorist laws to check the web of terror that has gripped the country.

The first meeting of the Vijay Sankalp Yatra saw Advani being accompanied by leaders such as Venkaiah Naidu and Jaswant Singh and the chief ministers of six states barring Rajasthan’s Vasundhara Raje Scindia, who had to rush to Jaipur on the second day of the BJP National Executive Meeting that is to be concluded on Sunday.

Speaking to the thousands that had gathered, Advani challenged the government to hold elections right away, as the prime minister, he said, does not have a single achievement to boast of.

He touched upon the Amarnath controversy and inflation as examples of government failures, as upon the cash-for-vote scandal at the recent trust vote.

Earlier, Modi, in his resolution speech at the meet, came dowm heavily on terror as well, saying that “Those concerned about terror obviously support GOJCOC (Gujarat’s proposed anti-terror law), those concerned about terrorists understandably oppose it,” making a reference to the Home Ministry’s opposition to the proposed law.

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