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Why the timing of Kasab's execution is significant

Last updated on: November 21, 2012 11:11 IST

Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt points out about how Ajmal Kasab's execution is significant for the central government and for the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had finalised a plan to hang Ajmal Kasab, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist convicted for his role in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, on November 11, top-level sources in the state government informed Rediff.com

After President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Kasab's mercy petition following the Union home ministry's advice, the Lashkar terrorist's file moved swiftly.

The timing of Kasab's hanging -- just five days before the fourth anniversary of the terror attacks in Mumbai -- is significant.

The central government, which has been under stress for a number of scams, will get a breather after the execution, which will possibly divert the focus of public debate.

The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government in Maharashtra will attract support for its action from the 'Hindutva' constituency represented by the Shiv Sena in the state.

A senior politician in Maharashtra said Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's death and the decision to hang Kasab are not inter-linked as the decision to complete the legal procedure and execute the terrorist was taken on November 11 by the state government.

The Maharashtra government has handled the law and order situation successfully in recent days after Thackeray's death. A top government source said it is confident it will keep a vigil on the security situation after Ajmal Kasab's execution.

Sheela Bhatt