Advani slams PM's roadmap to counter terrorism

Senior BJP leader LK Advani slammed Manmohan Singh's proposal for a task force to counter terrorism within a deadline of 100 days as "distressing" and demanded that the POTA be revived.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2008 16:14 IST

Ridiculing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's proposal for a task-force to counter terrorism in 100 days, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani on Monday said people should prepare a plan to remove the "sluggish government" in 100 days.

Talking to reporters at a meet-the-press programme in Indore, Advani said: "People of the country should instead prepare a 100-day plan to remove such a sluggish government. Manmohan Singh took over as prime minister in May 2004 and after 1,600 days, he is talking about a 100-day roadmap."

He was referring to the prime minister's recommendation, during his address to police chiefs in New Delhi Sunday, to set up a task-force under National Security Advisor MK Narayanan to combat terrorism, radical leftwing extremism and insurgency.

"This announcement is nothing but an admission of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government's failure to tackle terrorism," the BJP's prime ministerial candidate said.

Demanding restoration of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), Advani said Manmohan Singh should have instead talked with the police officials about the anti-terror law and they would have told him about its necessity in the country.

According to Advani, the talk of a 100-day roadmap was nothing but a gimmick with an eye on the polls -- assembly elections are on in six states and the Lok Sabha elections are due early next year.

"But public announcements will not solve the problem of terrorism and tough measures are required to be taken," he added.

Taking a dig at the Congress, which leads the ruling UPA, for raising the issue of "Hindu terrorism", Advani asked: "Why are they (Congress) silent on the blasts in Assam and other places? Why only the Malegaon issue is being talked about?"

Condemning the Congress and several other parties for linking terrorism with Hindus, he said: "BJP has never associated terrorism with any religion, while the Congress took up the matter as it was left with no other issue to talk about."

"Terrorists are the enemy of this nation and they should not be spared at any cost but it is not correct to link any religion with terrorism."

On the alleged atrocities on Malegaon blast case accused Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), he said: "I have read her affidavit filed in a Nashik court (last week) and was surprised to learn that a sadhvi could be tortured like this in this country. I have also handed over the copy of the affidavit to the prime minister and asked him to reply to the charges made in it, point to point.

"The Congress-lead UPA government has failed not only on the terrorism front but also on the economic front pushing the common man towards a grave crisis," he said.

On the other hand, Advani said, the BJP government lead by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh had taken several "developmental steps" for the welfare of people of all sections of society.

Advani said he was confident of the party's victory in the state assembly polls Nov 27 adding that the people of Madhya Pradesh would reward the Chouhan government for its excellent work and punish the Congress-led UPA government in the next Lok Sabha polls.

First Published: Nov 24, 2008 13:25 IST