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Charges against PM outrageous, says Congress

Questioning his commitment in tackling terror is akin to 'challenging the Indian state', says Congress. Act togetherPM on terror: See video

india Updated: May 19, 2008 21:29 IST

Stung by the BJP's questioning the bonafides of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to tackle terrorism, Congress on Monday hit back accusing the saffron party of "actively hindering" the fight against the menace.

As the war of words between Congress and BJP continued in the wake of the Jaipur terror blasts, the AICC also charged that BJP "has not only failed to play the role of a constructive opposition but is now actively hindering the fight against terror by making false and scandalous allegations against the Prime Minister."

"The BJP has completely abdicated its responsibility as the principal opposition party and has taken recourse to the lowest and most dangerous divisive tactics", Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here.

Rejecting the charge against Singh as "outragerous and scandalous", she said that to question Singh's commitment in tackling terrorism tantamounted to "directly challenging the authority of the Indian state" and this would only strengthen those "who attack India, the disruptive elements and terrorists".

She asked BJP to withdraw the "false, shameful and scandalous allegations". Natrajan's remarks came a day after BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley took a dim view of the Prime Minister's suggestion for a federal agency to fight terror saying it would be of no use unless it is armed with a POTA-type stringent anti-terror law.

The Congress spokesperson also attacked Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje accusing her of playing politics on Bangladeshi national issue.

Natarajan said that at a time of national tragedy in the wake of the Jaipur blasts, it was important for the entire nation to stand as one and present a united front to tackle the scourge of terrorism.

"It is highly unfortunate that BJP has failed in its duty to the people of India and to play a constructive role both in the healing process as well as to close ranks against terrorists and disruptive elements," she said.

Asking BJP to act as a "mature and responsible opposition", she recalled that during the terrorists attack on the Parliament during the NDA rule as also the recent Jaipur blasts, the Congress always offered unconditional support and solidarity to the government of the day.

On Raje's statement on the illegal immigrants issue, Natarajan alleged the Chief Minister, instead of applying a healing touch, was trying to politicise it for electoral gains in the poll-bound state.

Asked to comment on BJP leader LK Advani's statement suggesting that Manmohan Singh was party to the decision on release of terrorists for freeing passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines flight at Kandahar, she had a dig saying there was considerable confusion in the main opposition on the issue.