Joining issue with Home Minister P Chidambaram who said that her government had been warned of possible terrorist activity, UP Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday said there was no specific actionable intelligence input from the Centre about the Varanasi blast.
"Holding the state responsible is not justified...," Mayawati said in a statement.
The Chief Minister, who was reacting on the Home Minister's remarks that specific advisory was given in February identifying Dashashwamedh Ghat here as a possible terror target, also countered his statement there could have been "some laxity" on the part of the police that led to the blast last evening.
"There was no laxity yesterday," cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said reading out her statement at a press conference here.
Mayawati said that there was no specific actionable intelligence input regarding a terrorist act in Varanasi.
An alert was received on February 25 this year, but that was upto Dusshera festival (in October) only.
"Expecting that input to be specific and actionable even after Dusshera festival is not justified..... Stating that the state was alerted and given concrete information by the central intelligence agencies regarding possible attack in advance is far from reality," Mayawati said.
The cabinet secretary said that two general alerts were also issued regarding anniversaries of 26/11 Mumbai attacks and demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6.
"Those alerts were general in nature to maintain vigil on these two days," he said.
"As a routine exercise, ghats where Ganga 'arti' is held is sanitised at 5 PM every day and this exercise was carried out yesterday as well. Thus, there was no laxity yesterday," the statement said.
"The Chief Minister has said that holding any state government responsible for act of terrorism is not justified, otherwise can state governments of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi could solely be held responsible for serials blasts and terror attacks," the state cabinet secretary said.
Mayawati has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking 125 companies (12,500 personnel) of central forces and all necessary facilities as provided to Maharashtra government after Mumbai attacks, pointing out that since 2000, 18 major acts of terrorism took place in UP claiming 80 lives.