BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani addressed his first electoral rally in Delhi at Budh Vihar in the Rithala assembly segment on Tuesday evening.
Advani’s speech was focussed on the three issues of terrorism, inflation and the N-Deal.
Without naming the Congress, he attacked the party for its “votebank policy”. “They tell us we raise the issue of terror. That terror attacks on the Akshardham temple and Parliament took place when we were in government. I say yes it happened. But I can also say with satisfaction that not a single terrorist involved in these attacks could escape,” said Advani.
He said Pakistan was waging a “proxy war” against India after realising that India cannot be beaten in a direct confrontation. “It first started with Punjab, then Jammu and Kashmir. Indira Gandhi was killed, the killers were hanged. It’s natural, that’s the law. But we caught the Parliament terror accused, he was awarded death sentence. The Supreme Court upheld the verdict. But the hanging is yet to take place. Had it been an Anand Mohan or Anand Singh instead of Afzal, they would have been hanged by now,” said Advani.
He, however, was quick to add this was “not about Hindus or Muslims”, but simply terror. Attacking the government over the investigation of the Malegaon blasts and the ATS’s role, Advani described his conversation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“I have heard of Sadhvi Pragya for the first time. But when I read her affidavit, I was shocked that a woman was tortured like this... I merely expressed my feelings, but the PM called me and asked me about my statement. I told him, if you read the affidavit, you would also feel the same,” said Advani, claiming the National Security Adviser had assured him the charges of torture would be investigated.
Short of describing the nuclear deal as a sellout, Advani said the Pokhran explosions carried out during the NDA government’s regime had brought respect to India. “The stature of Indians went up because of it. We carried out the Pokhran explosion keeping national interest in mind, not the US,” said Advani.
On the issue of inflation, the BJP leader said the Congress was unable to contain rising prices. “They have won two elections on the slogan of Aam Aadmi, but have made the common man suffer the most,” he said.
Urging the electorate to punish the government twice, in an obvious allusion to Lok Sabha polls, Advani said it was time the Congress retired. “I think the PM and Sheila need a rest. We are ready to govern the country,” he added.