BJP strongman and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday termed Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's remarks on Afzal Guru as "misleading" and alleged that the UPA government was "sitting" on the hanging order of the parliament attack convict.
"I want to tell you that the Congress is befooling people on this issue. They are throwing dust in the eyes of people. The Congress is sitting on the order to hang him," Modi said at a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rally in Ludhiana.
He accused the Congress of sitting on the file of Afzal Guru for the sake of vote bank politics.
On Rahul Gandhi's remark that Afzal's file is in queue and he would be hanged when his time comes, Modi said: "This is the most ridiculous statement."
Gandhi had said that Afzal's name was at number 22 in the list of people to be hanged.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, reacting to Modi's comments on Afzal Guru, said it showed the BJP leader's "duality".
Singhvi said that the queue of people on death row was from 1998 to 2006, during which time the NDA was in power till 2004. "Afzal's number is 22 in the queue. Before clearing the backlog, the BJP expects the government to go straight to number 22, just because of his religion."
Modi also said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were insensitive to the sufferings of Tamils in Sri Lanka and more concerned about letting off Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, a suspect in the Bofors payoff case.
"This is one election where the prime ministerial candidate is not even contesting polls," Modi said, taking a dig at Manmohan Singh who is a Rajya Sabha member.