BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Friday criticised the Congress party over the delay in hanging Afzal Guru and asked whether the Parliament attack convict was its "son-in-law".
In comments that could stoke a controversy, Gadkari thundered at a party rally in Dehra Dun last night, "Is Afzal Guru the son-in-law of Congress? Why is he being given special treatment?"
Gadkari also said, "It (Congress) is a party full of fearful people. They can never fight with terrorists and can never get rid of terrorism. It is a party which will bow down in front of terrorists and can never protect India."
Reacting to Gadkari's comments, Congress said Gadkari has lost his mind and sarcastically said he needed serious help.
"The remark smacks of obscenity, obnoxiousness and obtuseness," Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said in New Delhi.
Tiwari further said, "it is very obvious that the esteemed president of the BJP has lost it completely. The BJP should take pity on him and deposit him into a psychiatric facility. The man needs serious help."
The Supreme Court upheld Afzal's death penalty in 2005. Since then, the Opposition has attacked Congress for delaying his hanging, saying if Afzal is not hanged India will be seen as a soft state. Afzal is on death row for over eight years after he was convicted of masterminding the December 13, 2001 attack on Parliament.
Four years after its opinion was sought, the Sheila Dikshit government in Delhi finally gave its opinion to Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna recently saying that it supports the Supreme Court's decision to give death sentence to Afzal Guru, but added a rider saying that the implications of the execution must be taken into consideration.
Within hours of this, Khanna returned the file asking the Delhi government's stand on Afzal's mercy petition. The Delhi government sent back Afzal's file saying that it stood by the Supreme Court verdict.