Terror is the key in Cong-BJP poll battle
Preparing the groundwork for the 10 assembly polls this year, the Congress took on the BJP for accusing the UPA government of going soft on terrorism and topped up its defence with counter-charges that fewer people were dying in terrorist-related violence during its regime than during the NDA’s.
The Congress also fielded its junior minister in the home ministry, Sriprakash Jaiswal, to repeat charges previously made by its leaders that Afzal Guru — the prime accused in the Parliament attack case sentenced to the gallows — had been released from detention two months before the attack.
Jaiswal declared that he would reveal the details within 24 hours.
The BJP rejected the charge, saying, “Afzal was rounded up for questioning on 11 occasions by the J&K police between 1993 and 1997 on grounds of suspicious activity. Again, in 2001, he was rounded up for interrogation by the J&K police but was not formally charged,” BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
“The difference clearly lies in the approach. The Congress lacks commitment and conviction to firmly act and wage a determined war against anti-national subversive forces as compared to the nationalist BJP which has a history of taking strong-willed decisions backed by definite action,” Prasad said, following up on LK Advani’s rally in Jabalpur this.
Earlier, Jaiswal said, "It seems that Advani's intention is to generate insecurity by talking of terrorism. Such statements should not be merely denied, but strongly condemned," Jaiswal said at a press conference on Friday where he blamed Advani for Afzal’s release.
By highlighting Afzal’s detention and release before the attack, Jaiswal had hoped to take the sting out of the BJP onslaught. Like many others on death row, Afzal’s clemency plea pending before the government has kept him away from the gallows. The BJP has been projecting the “delay” as an indicator of the Centre’s soft stance on terrorism.
The minister said there has been a 70 per cent improvement in the situation in J&K, no deterioration in the Northeast and most of the Naxal violence was reported from states such as Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, where non-UPA formations are in power. "Unfortunately, the party of the PM-in-Waiting is in power in these states… He can at least ask the chief ministers to control the problem," Jaiswal said sarcastically.
Four days after a college student was allegedly molested on a skywalk at Manpada, local residents have raised safety concerns over another skywalk in the heart of the city which they claim is taken over by miscreants at night as there are no adequate lights and CCTV cameras. Interestingly, this skywalk near Viviana Mall is barely a few metres from former minister Jitendra Awhad's home and around two km from chief minister Eknath Shinde's residence.
With its private beach and a sprawling lawn, Ramtek bungalow in Malabar Hill leads the list, followed by Royal Stone, a colonial-style bungalow with wooden flooring located in Peddar Road. While Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar and revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil have requested for Royal Stone, forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, labour minister Suresh Khade and Vikhe-Patil are vying for Ramtek bungalow, the largest bungalow after Varsha, the official residence of the chief minister.
Mumbai: Two senior citizens lost their lives after the ceiling of a residential structure in which they resided came down on Monday evening. The deceased were identified as Devshankar Nathalal Shukla (93) and his wife, Arkhiben Devshankar Shukla (87). According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) disaster control cell, the incident took place at around 7.46 pm, on the first floor of the building.
Karnataka Police on Monday imposed curbs under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Shivamogga town after a clash between two groups over banners featuring Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue V D Savarkar and 18th Century ruler Tipu Sultan. A senior police officer familiar with the matter said tension broke out after a banner featuring Savarkar was put up at Amir Ahmed Circle, in Shivamogga, as part of Independence Day celebrations.
In a first, the national flag was hoisted amid tight security on Monday morning at Idgah Maidan in Chamarajpet. The Tricolour was hoisted at the Idgah Maidan by assistant commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban) MG Shivanna. Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, member of Lok Sabha from Bengaluru Central constituency PC Mohan, additional commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Sandeep Patil and deputy commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Laxman Nimbargi were also present in the event.