NEW DELHI: BJP national president Amit Shah has attacked the Congress party over the issue of national security and accused the main opposition party of always being soft on terrorism.
Targeting Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, the BJP chief alleged that the main opposition party had always been “hesitant about terrorism, separatism and Naxalism”.
Shah made these remarks in a strongly-worded blog in which he reiterated that while Congress has always been soft on terror, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has firmly dealt with the issue of terrorism.
It may be recalled that Masood’s JeM had claimed the responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which at least 40 troopers were killed.
The BJP president maintained while India has used all diplomatic channels to build more pressure on Pakistan and isolate it at the global levels, parties like Congress were making statements favouring the neighbouring country.
“This shabby face of Pakistan has been exposed before the world…. In such a situation, Pakistan has been totally isolated… vis a vis militant mastermind Masood Azhar and his organization Jaish-e-Mohammad,” he said in his blog.
He continued by saying that some political parties, including the Congress, were questioning the government, raising doubts over the valour of the armed forces, which was “just helping militants”.
In the later part of his blog, the BJP president accused the Congress party of providing their consent to the then government to release terrorist like Masood Azhar.
He alleged that then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh were part of the all-party meeting in which they had agreed to release Masood Azhar to bring back the passengers held hostage at Kandahar.
Shah also sought to remind that 10 years before the Kandahar flight hijacking, the then Congress government had released 10 terrorists in exchange for then Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed`s daughter Rubaiya Sayeed.
Training his guns at Rahul Gandhi, Shah said the Congress chief has been blaming the BJP for the release of JeM founder Masood Azhar during the earlier NDA government but before making such “insensitive remarks” he should think about the mistakes committed by his own party.
Shah further said that the decisions of his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru on China and Kashmir had “turned into cancer for the country”.
The hard-hitting blog from the BJP chief came after Rahul Gandhi asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not telling the nation that it was the earlier National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which had released Azhar – the man behind the Pulwama suicide bombing.
Gandhi made these remarks while addressing a public rally in Gandhinagar.
Shah added that by raising such questions, Rahul Gandhi was not just “displaying his insensitivity” but also questioning the ”wisdom of senior leaders of his own party.”
“This debate does not start nor end with the release of Masood Azhar. This list is long, and if discussed, the Congress will look like the guilty party,” he wrote in the blog.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.