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Battling Cong barbs, BJP plans offensive

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 20, 2013
First Published: 00:52 IST(20/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:57 IST(20/11/2013)

With the snooping row refusing to die down in a hurry, the Congress has decided to keep the issue alive till Assembly elections in five states are over. The BJP, in turn, has drawn up a counter-strategy in which it plans to attack the UPA government at the Centre.

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On Tuesday, the Congress continued to field its women leaders to target BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and his aide Amit Shah over the snooping row. Its women’s wing, the Mahila Congress, plans to greet Modi and Shah with black flags wherever they campaign.

“We will not let the issue that concerns the security of women to die down,” Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza said. “It’s a clear case of human rights violations. It’s not about the Congress, we all need to stand up… If such things are happening in Gujarat, how can a woman survive in that state?” she asked.

In Mumbai, finance minister P Chidambaram took a dig at the Modi government too.
 
“I think this is condemnable. Providing security isn’t the same as stalking… snooping,” said Chidambaram.

“(This is) the first time I have heard that there is a request for providing security and in that wonderful state, security is provided by stalking and snooping,” he told reporters.

Faced with this criticism, the BJP plans to go on the offensive with the following questions: Assuming the audio tapes released by two investigative websites in which Amit Shah is purportedly heard directing IPS officer GL Singhal to put a young woman under illegal surveillance are authentic, who ordered the tapping of Shah’s phone? Was Singhal tapping his boss Shah, the then minister of state for home? Or, were Shah’s phones tapped by agencies outside the state to use against the Modi government and handed to the CBI to make it look as if Singhal presented them to the agency as evidence after he was arrested in connection with fake encounter cases.

The BJP also hit back at the Congress, saying the ruling party was engaging in “mafia-style politics to target the opposition through proxies like CBI and IAS officer Pradeep Sharma” as it cannot defeat it in an open contest.

BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that “the Congress feels that it can save itself through dirty tricks and criminal conspiracies. It should rename itself as Indian Conspiracy Congress. It is not going to succeed in its designs.”

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