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UPA on the defensive: BJP

india Updated: May 17, 2008 03:10 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
BJP is seeing a sharp decline in the rating of the UPA government as it enters its fifth year in office this month.

Whether it is price rise or acts of terror, the BJP is seeing a sharp decline in the rating of the UPA government as it enters its fifth year in office this month.

With a year to go for the Lok Sabha polls, BJP leaders say the two issues will gain more seriousness and the UPA, particularly the Congress, will be on the defensive.

Consequently, the party has asked its leaders including chief ministers to be more shrill in their focus on the UPA's performance and refuse to take blame. In fact for the first time — since the blasts in Jaipur — the chief ministers of BJP-ruled states are more strident in their criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA.

Almost all senior party leaders including LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, and Arun Jaitely have pitched for re-enactment of a tough law against terrorism to make up for the annulment of the NDA-inspired Pota.

A day after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi wrote to the PM to flay the functioning of security agencies including the Intelligence Bureau, his Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje has said that India doesn’t even have a comprehensive database on terrorists.

Modi and Raje did not hide their disappointment with the Centre for refusing to grant Presidential assent to their anti-terror laws when similar measures are in the statute of the Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

As BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley put it, “You can refuse bail to an accused in the blast cases of Mumbai, Malegoan and Hyderabad but not to the one connected with the Jaipur blasts. The reason is that Rajasthan's law has not been approved by the Centre.” Advani said on Friday that incidents have shown the Congress has neither the strategy nor the will to neutralise terror.

Cong slams Advani

The Congress said Advani is playing into the hands of terrorists by making statements that threaten to fuel communal passions.

An AICC spokesperson said BJP, who is now repeatedly calling for a POTA like law, had opposed TADA.