By executing Ajmal Kasab, a battered Congress has sought not only to shrug off charges of being soft on terror but also redeem its political image nationally.
The party faced a barrage of questions in the social media and on political forums about keeping him alive and spending crores of public money on his security.
The party is now going to derive maximum political mileage from the move, which comes a day ahead of the winter session of Parliament and five days before the fourth anniversary of the terror attacks.
Congress leaders are also hoping this would turn the tide in its favour not only in Gujarat, where assembly elections are less than a month away, but throughout the country.
“It will certainly help us to stay afloat in many assembly polls next year as well as in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” a senior leader said.
The sudden execution came as a surprise to the BJP, which will try to put pressure on the Congress-led government to hang parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
To counter the BJP’s hardened on the issue of fight against terror, some voices within the Congress have now started demanding that the cases of Guru and other death row convicts be handled like Kasab’s.
“They [the government] should expedite the decision on Afzal Guru,” said party general secretary Digvijaya Singh.