The BJP and the Congress continued to trade charge against each other over the Ishrat Jahan encounter controversy, a day after an RTI response reveled that then home minister P Chidambaram had signed the first affidavit confirming her LeT connection and a plot to eliminate Narendra Modi.
Ishrat was killed in an encounter by Gujarat police in 2004. A court-monitored CBI probe had found the encounter fake and a major row erupted after the UPA government filed in September 2009 a second affidavit which, unlike the first, did not make any reference to her suspected LeT links.
The ruling party reiterated its claim that Chidambaram acted at the behest of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and said UPA could "tolerate terrorists but not Narendra Modi as Prime Minister".
It alleged Sonia Gandhi, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram "suppressed" information provided by the NIA and the FBI, the US probe agency, about Ishrat being a terrorist and a threat to Modi's life.
“Why did you suppress it? What was the need? Because you could not tolerate these two persons (Modi and Amit Shah). You could not tolerate him as you feared him becoming the Prime Minister. You tolerated terrorists,” BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said.
The Congress was quick in hitting back at Modi and Shah and accused them of "obstructing" judicial process and taking to "patent falsehoods".
"The Prime Minister and the BJP President are shamelessly misleading the country and obstructing judicial process by blocking trial of accused in the Ishrat Jehan fake encounter case pending in a court in Ahmedabad, Gujarat," Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
He said Modi and Shah must tell the country the real motive behind "desperation" to shut down the trial. "What is it that they seek to hide or are scared of needs to be placed before the nation? Is there some evidence available on that file of the court that goes against somebody very senior in the leadership of the BJP, which is scaring Amit Shah and Modi?" he asked.
He alleged the Modi government is using a "web of selective news leaks, deceptive statements of its ministers and non-grant of sanction for prosecution of the accused to ensure mistrial and reinvestigation through pliable investigating agencies".
"Modi government is not only economical with the truth but is also relying upon patent falsehood to hide the facts," Surjewala said.