Parliament spoke in one voice on Wednesday to condemn the bomb blast outside the Delhi high court, with the opposition joining hands with the government to call for unity in its wake.
But the principal Opposition party, BJP, hardened its stand outside, attacking the government over its “failure” to tackle terrorism.
Home minister P Chidambaram told both Houses of Parliament: “I appeal to the House and the people of the country that we must remain resolute and united.”
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, echoed this line: “We stay united and we speak in one language.” Calling it a sad day, LK Advani wondered if the blast had any connection with the approaching 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror strikes in the US.
Outside, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was combative. In a statement, party president Nitin Gadkari told Chidambaram to “stop training his guns on political opponents and concentrate his energies in tackling the menace of terrorism”.
This statement obliquely echoed the BJP’s line that the government was trying to frame the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in terror cases and hound opponents in the civil society.
Jaitley too was more belligerent outside the House. “You (the government) have to strengthen investigation. You have to strengthen intelligence. The fact that no advance intelligence was available is a concern. No intelligence on such a major incident is an intelligence failure. Though there was a dry run in May (the May 25 blast at the high court), follow-up security apparatus was not installed.”
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, also wondered why no preventive steps were taken after the blast in May.
Earlier, in the House, a milder BJP was in tune not just with the government but other opposition parties too.
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, “… India cannot afford to give this impression that human life for us is cheaper than anywhere else in the world… Whatever is required needs to be done. We will fully support the government’s endeavour.”
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra said, “All of us stand behind the government on this occasion unitedly.”
He appealed to VVIPs not to visit the injured and allow doctors and security forces to concentrate on the job at hand. Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan cautioned against pointing fingers at a particular community after each blast.