A DIVIDED opposition failed to corner the State Government as politics dominated debate on terrorism and law and order situation in Vidhan Sabha with Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav using the occasion to attack Bharatiya Janata Party and defend the Students Islamic Movement of India.
Chief Minister virtually gave a clean chit to the SIMI and there was hardly any focus on the law and order situation. So the debate on terrorism was used more as a political ploy to target opponents then any concern on the real issue. The Congress too appeared more interested in targeting the BJP to support CM then showing real concern for the cause.
The BJP and the RSS were bigger terrorists, the CM said adding that the SIMI’s role has not been found in any of terrorist activities in UP. The SIMI’s name had not figured in the terrorists’ attacks at Ayodhya, Varanasi or in the Shramjeevi Express blasts, he said adding that he did not consider any organisation as terrorist organisation.
There was no one from the BJP when the CM launched the attacks. The BJP had staged a walk out much before the time the Chief members launched his attacks. The BJP’s walk out spoke more on the internecine squabbling in the BJP than part of any strategy to corner Mulayam government. State BJP president Keshari Nath Tripathi made the announcement to stage a walk out to protest against not being given sufficient time to speak on the issue. So the Leader of Opposition Lalji Tandon had been left with no option but to follow Tripathi along with others of BJP leaders.
CLP leader Pramod Tiwari spoke only a bit about terror of the Dadua gang and quoted the incidents of attack on chief justices cavalcade and the beating of the district police chief by the policemen in Farrukhabad to make his point on deteriorating law and order situation. Tiwari thereafter used the occasion to flay the BJP and the RSS and asked Tandon to congratulate the Mulayam and the Central Government for fighting terrorism.
At one point, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey had to intervene to allow Tandon to speak.
Tandon said the Mulayam government was soft on terrorism. Tandon, however, lost focus after he quoted relevant lines from a book of former joint director Intelligence Bureau to make his point that some legislators and a chief minister of a northern state was in touch with Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. At this point, Minister for Urban Development Mohammad Azam Khan rose from his seat and asked Tandon to name the chief minister referred in the book.
There was also a strong reaction among other members of treasury benches as many of them felt that Tandon should clarify his remarks. So Tandon had to clarify again and again. .
Reacting to Tandon’s allegation that his government was not soft on terrorism the CM said it was the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre that was soft.
“Don’t trust the BJP,” he said adding that Madarsas should also not be unnecessarily be targeted. Attacks on Madarsas would give no strength to the unity and integrity of country, he said.