Taking on the BJP for its charge that the Congress is "soft on terror", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said that there is a "lot of difference and contradictions" in the way the BJP speaks about and "actually acts" on terrorism.
Speaking at a poll rally in Amingaon on the outskirts of Guwahati, the Prime Minister also made an indirect reference to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of being a communal party trying to divide the country on religious lines.
Referring to the 26/11 attacks, he said: "During the Mumbai terror attacks our government handled the situation very firmly? but did the opposition government at the centre (BJP-led National Democratic Alliance) ever take such bold steps?
"I don't have to elaborate on that? there is lot of difference and contradictions in the way the BJP speaks and the way they actually act," he said.
Hinting at the BJP for communalizing politics, he said: "There are some parties dividing the country on caste, creed, and religious lines and this is dangerous for our country. We need to be careful and prevent such divisive forces to break the country's secular fabric by indulging in hate campaigns and mixing religion with politics."
"The Congress is the only party that stands for secularism and hence we appeal to the people of India to reject parties with communal overtones."
The Prime Minister also appealed to militant groups in the northeast to come for peace talks, and especially urged the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to join the mainstream.
"Our doors for peace talks are open and we want the ULFA to shun the path of violence and come and hold peace talks with us. We welcome the move by a section of the ULFA to have already joined the peace process by entering into a ceasefire," Singh said.
The Prime Minister was campaigning for the Congress party candidate for the Guwahati parliamentary seat Robin Bordoloi.