BJP on Friday attempted to bring the issue of hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru back to political discourse by raising the pitch for his early execution while Congress accused it of politizing the subject.
"When would Afzal Guru be hanged and how long will his mercy petition be delayed? On August 4, 2005, the Supreme Court had rejected his appeal. It has been six years since then. The review petition was rejected on May 14, 2008," BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The President had on Thursday rejected the mercy petitions of Devinder Singh Bhullar, convicted in the Youth Congress office bombing here, and M N Das, who killed a person while being out on parole.
Congress spokesman Abhishek Singvi said "there is a list. You cannot leapfrog names of people on the death row. You have to maintain decency and propriety in a constitutional democracy".
The refrain of Singhvi was that BJP was playing vote- bank politics on the issue by raking up religion of a convict as part of its communal agenda.
He also asked why no action was taken into the matter when there was an NDA government at the Centre.
Prasad said the government was not bound by law to go by the order in which mercy petitions were received.
"Which law authorises the Government of India that consideration of mercy petitions would only be in sequence? Cases of serious crime are fast tracked. The Supreme Court has fast tracked the 2G case though thousands of cases are pending. Afzal Guru's case was fast tracked," he said.