A day after serial bombings in Ahmedabad killed nearly 40 people, the Congress party on Sunday ruled out reviving the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) despite demands from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"When was POTA able to prevent a terror strike?" Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told IANS. "The BJP's demand for POTA is completely ridiculous."
POTA, enacted by parliament in 2002, was repealed when the Congress-led government took power in 2004 following complaints that it had been used to target members of a minority community.
"What the Congress is considering is instituting a federal agency along the lines of US-based national centre to counter terrorism," Tewari pointed out.
"The Congress approach to counter terror measures is pre-emptive. An anti-terror law ... cannot prevent (terrorist attacks)," said Tewari.
The BJP, he said, is insisting on POTA to play politics.
Within hours of the Ahmedabad blasts, BJP leader L.K. Advani said: "The anti-terror legal framework of the government has been weakened after the repealing of POTA. The alacrity with which the government should have responded to the anti-terror elements has not been there."