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December 14, 2001
1914 IST

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Cong raps govt for security failure, BJP pitches for POTO

While opposition parties on Friday said they were solidly behind the government in combating the menace of terrorism, they made it clear that Thursday's attack on the Parliament House complex was a monumental security and intelligence failure.

However, the BJP found an ally in the AIADMK to support its demand for a stringent anti-terrorism law to tackle the menace of terrorism.

"As far as combating terrorism is concerned, the whole nation is one," Congress spokesman Jaipal Reddy told reporters in Delhi.

"We expect the government to consult us on the action and strategy to be adopted to combat terrorism," Reddy said.

Asked about cabinet resolution on liquidating terrorists wherever they are, he said, "We are for liquidation of terrorists wherever they are. But the government should express its determination and consult us in this regard."

Asked if the party would demand the resignation of Union Home Minister L K Advani in the wake of the 'horrendous' attack on Parliament, he said the party's grouse was against the entire government and not against any individual.

On the security in and around Parliament, Reddy said it was for the Lok Sabha Speaker to decide.

The Samajwadi Party charged the BJP with trying to use Thursday's terrorist attack on Parliament House for its political gains. Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav asked the Centre to take the people into confidence while dealing with terrorism.

"The whole country is united over the issue of national security," he said and asked the government to launch an attack on terrorist training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) also ruled out the possibility of any change in its stand against POTO and suggested that the Centre evolve a consensus on measures to combat terrorism.

Meanwhile, the BJP stressed on the need for enacting an anti-terrorism law.

"POTO should get parliamentary approval and if the opposition stalls Parliament on the issue, the government should re-promulgate the ordinance," BJP spokesman V K Malhotra told reporters in Delhi.

On what role the party saw for the United States in the wake of the attack, Malhotra said, "The US should support India's fight against terrorism. Otherwise they will be seen adopting different standards on terrorism."

He hit out at the Congress for describing the terrorist attack as a 'monumental security lapse'.

"When the entire nation is fighting the menace of terrorism, it is wrong on the part of the Congress to talk in such a tone," he said.

In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said that legislation like POTO is 'indispensable' especially in the wake of Thursday's terrorists attack in Parliament.

Condemning the attack in Parliament, he said security had been strengthened in all parts of the state, especially at strategic locations.

RELATED REPORT:
Chandrababu Naidu condemns attack on Parliament, underscores need for POTO

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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