Demanding a probe to find out if the terrorists from Pakistan who attacked Mumbai had local support, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate LK Advani on Tuesday criticised the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for its alleged failures on various fronts in its five-year tenure.
"The attack has not been thoroughly investigated and Mumbai Police giving a certificate that no local hand was involved is shameful," Advani said in the Lok Sabha during the motion of thanks to President Pratibha Patel's address to parliament.
"Such an attack cannot be planned without local help and we still demand that the probing agencies should investigate this also," he added.
While India has maintained that the Nov 26 Mumbai attack was planned on Pakistani soil by Pakistani citizens, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had kicked up a controversy when he said at the BJP's national council meeting Feb 8 that the attack was not possible without local assistance.
Advani said in the Lok Sabha: "The government had some information about the Mumbai attack in advance, for example, that the next attack will be from the sea route; but it still failed to prevent it."
He cited a terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in January last year and said the two terrorists arrested then had revealed to police their terror plans. "However, the government remained insensitive to the issue," the BJP leader added.
Advani also blamed the Congress-led UPA government for its "casual approach" towards the problem of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh through northeastern states.
He said despite the tough position that the Supreme Court took on the issue, the government had failed to curb the problem. "Infiltration in states like Assam is dangerous for the integrity of the country and poses a threat of division of the country," said Advani.
Commenting on the economy, he said acting finance minister Pranab Mukherjee spent much of his time in Monday's interim budget presentation in praising the efforts of the UPA for the common man's welfare, but the government had badly failed on the economic front.
"The UPA has done nothing to curb unemployment nor has it done anything for the farmers whom Mukherjee termed as the real heroes of the country. And with more and more people losing jobs and committing suicide due to this, I fear, like the farmers' suicides epidemic, this is going to be another epidemic," Advani said.
A number of scams took place in the past five years but the UPA had done nothing to curb corruption and instead derailed schemes of national interest such as the national highway project, initiated by the previous BJP-led government, he said.
Referring to the "cash-for-vote" controversy in the Lok Sabha last year duing the trust vote on the India-US nuclear deal, Advani blamed the government for promoting such activities and bringing down the dignity of the house.
He also charged the UPA of misusing institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Election Commission. "No government has ever tried to undermine the Election Commission except the UPA and even the Supreme Court has taken a strong stand on the politically-motivated functioning of the CBI," he said.