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Government, opposition launch verbal salvos

The political mudslinging over the latest terror attack began even before Mumbai’s numbness wore off. HT Correspondents report.

mumbai Updated: Jul 15, 2011 00:50 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times

The political mudslinging over the latest terror attack began even before Mumbai’s numbness wore off.

The opposition charged the government with inaction, the government accused the opposition of being unhelpful, there were instances of friendly fire, migrants got blamed irrespective of evidence and the scene turned a free-for-all. Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray criticised union home minister P Chidambaram for not admitting the blasts were the result of an intelligence failure.

“If this is not an intelligence failure, what is? If the government cannot provide security, what is the use of it?” he said.

Senior leaders LK Advani and Arun Jaitley spearheaded the BJP attack.

Demanding zero tolerance towards terrorism and zero talks with Pakistan till it controlled terror, Advani said: “The government must shed its ambivalence towards terrorism."

In Delhi, criticising the UPA government for repealing the anti-terror law POTA, Jaitley said: “People have sympathy for the Parliament attack convict. People have questioned the authenticity of the Batla House encounter. People favour a legislation to deal with communal violence but do not think we need a tough law to deal with terror.”

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s statement, that it was difficult to stop every single terror attack, drew heavy censure.

“Rahul should not talk about issues on which he has no knowledge,” said Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.

Uddhav said: “He (Rahul) called the attacks ‘aam’ (common). It is surprising how such a ghastly act could not wake the Congress.”

The MNS blamed migrants for the blasts. “Migrants indulge in criminal activities and the army should be engaged to comb the slums,” said Raj.

“Political statements at such an hour is not good,” said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. “This is the time to come together and support the government.”

Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Madan Bafna said the opposition was in no position to talk about security lapses. “When they were in power, they released terrorists and there was a terror attack in the Lok Sabha,” he said.

He also took potshots at ally Congress, pointing out the delay in carrying out the death sentence for terrorist Afzal Guru should not be tolerated.

First Published: Jul 14, 2011 21:08 IST