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Advani questions PM's track record on tackling terror
February 06, 2008 19:17 IST
Forced to reschedule his nationwide rallies in the wake of security concerns, senior BJP leader L K Advani on Wednesday attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] track record on tackling terrorism and asserted that his rallies will continue.
Addressing a rally in Jabalpur which was scheduled to be the launch of his Sankalp Yatra, he sought to know from the prime minister whether Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru has been given "unofficial clemency" and the number of terrorist modules busted by his government in the last three-and-a-half years.
In his first public meeting after securing a stamp of approval by the NDA as its prime ministerial candidate, Advani attacked the Congress, saying the unresolved boundary issues with Pakistan and China are the legacy of successive Congress governments and blamed it for virtually all the problems faced by the country.
Advani posed four questions to Manmohan Singh -- whether Afzal Guru has been given unofficial clemency, disclose the progress of investigation in terror attacks since 2004, number of terror modules busted and militants arrested or killed and steps taken to check Bangladeshi infiltration in Assam.
Referring to postponement of his rallies, he said government has sought some time to provide enough security and the party has decided to reschedule the programme and not cancel.
The rallies will continue and I want to tell the terrorists that no politcal party in India is afraid of them," he said.
"I can say right now that the prime minister will answer none of these questions because he does not have the courage to tell the truth to the nation," Advani said, addressing the rally at the Garrison Ground in this cantonment town.
Targeting Singh, the Leader of the Opposition said, "India today is in need of strong leadership that can tackle the threat of jehadi terrorism and resolve the big legacy problem that India has inherited from the past bungling by Congress governments."
Claiming that people of India are looking for a change at the Centre, Advani said they are, however, not looking only for a change in government but looking for a change in politics. They want a new kind of politics.''
In his hour-long speech, Advani accused the Congress of being responsible for India having lost territories during wars with Pakistan and China and charged it with going soft against terrorism.
"Successive Congress governments, including the Congress-led UPA one, have reduced India to a soft state, one that lacks the political will at the top to confront the enemy and neutralise him,'' he said.
"Today, India has been saddled with unresolved boundary problems with two of our big neighbours--Pakistan and China. Both problems were created due to bungling of Congress governments,''Advani said.
He said the BJP was committed to good governance, development and security and pledged to provide an alternative culture of governance rooted in these ideals.
Advani charged the government with failing to tackle price rise and corruption saying its policies have made life difficult for the people of the country.
Claiming that the previous NDA government had launched several ambitious ideas and programmes for India's development, he said because of the non-performance of the UPA government in the past nearly four years, many more tasks had been added to the challenges before us."
He said India wants a strong leadership, which can end the plight of farmers, fight corruption at the top level, accelerate employment-oriented economic growth, bring down prices and end "betrayal" of the common men.
Advani said elections to the Lok Sabha can be held before time, even along with Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh later this year, and asked partymen to be prepared for the challenge.
In a clear message to party leaders, he asked them to be humble, accessible to people and maintain a clean image.
"Our leaders should not be dishonest and should be accessible to people as they are supreme," he said.