New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Thursday lamented the Congress for delay in hanging Parliament attack case convict Mohammed Afzal Guru.
Addressing a party rally in Dehradun, Gadkari said, “I want to ask the Congress leaders if Afzal Guru is their son-in-law. It is a party full of fearful people. They can never fight with terrorists and can never get rid of terrorism. It is a party which will bow down in front of terrorists and can never protect India.”
The Congress has asked Gadkari to apologise for his statement.
Gadkari has, meanwhile, refused to apologise for his remark.
"I have said nothing wrong. I am sticking to my stand and so there is no need (to apologise)," Gadkari said when asked by a reporter here that the Congress had sought an apology for his comment.
He alleged that the government was sitting on the file relating to execution of Guru for the last four years.
"I have not made a wrong statement. They (Congress) should rather give a reply as to why they are not executing the orders of the Supreme Court," he said.
A medicine and surgical instrument dealer from Jammu and Kashmir, Afzal Guru, was given the death penalty in 2002 on charges of hatching the conspiracy that led to a deadly terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001 leaving over a dozen people dead.
His sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on October 20, 2006. But his execution was stayed after his wife sought clemency.
BJP has often alleged in the past that the Congress-led UPA government and the Shiela Dikshit-led Delhi government were delaying the hanging of Afzal Guru for minority appeasement and vote-bank politics.
BJP has already expressed the hope that President Pratibha Patil would go by the government recommendation that Parliament attack-convict Afzal Guru be hanged, saying he was "a symbol of treachery and terrorism" who deserved capital punishment.