PM, HM speaking in different voices, says BJP

Last Updated: Friday, July 15, 2011 - 20:13

New Delhi: Upping the ante against the
government on the Mumbai serial blast case, BJP said on Friday
divisions within Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s cabinet and
misuse of the intelligence agencies for settling political
scores have led to failure in combating terror.

The opposition targeted Singh and Home Minister P
Chidambaram, accusing them of speaking in different voices
on the serial blasts that claimed 18 lives.

"Singh said yesterday that the government will do
everything in its power to prevent such attacks in future. On
what basis is the Prime Minister making such claims when his
Home Minister frankly conceded that all cities in India are
vulnerable to attack. Are they on the same page?" BJP Chief
spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad asked.

He expressed unhappiness over the claim made by both
Singh and Chidambaram that there was no intelligence input.

"They both stated that there was no prior intelligence
alert.... the country is certainly entitled to know why there
was no intelligence alert," Prasad said.

The opposition charged that other than not taking
action on promises made after 26/11 like establishment of a
National Intelligence Grid and National Counter Terrorism
Centre (NCTC), the government was also misusing the
intelligence agencies which has fine professionals.

"There is no intelligence alert as IB and other
agencies off late are being used more under political pressure
in non-security related political objectives like targeting
non-UPA state governments and surveillance of even senior
ministers," Prasad said.

He was referring to the recent controversy where it
was alleged that the Home Ministry could be involved in spying
on the Finance Minister by bugging his office.

Prasad alleged that when even a minor incident takes
place in a non-UPA ruled state, the union Home Ministry "very
quickly" claims that prior intelligence input was given.

"But in a terrorist attack concerning the financial
capital of India, Mumbai, it is being stated that there was no
intelligence alert. Should we suspect that there is an attempt
to save the Congress-led government of Maharashtra?" he said.

The opposition further charged that government had not
fulfilled most of the announcements made after 26/11 about
up gradation of the anti-terror infrastructure.

"What happened to the National Counter Terrorism Centre
(NCTC). Is the idea as good as abandoned? What happened to the
proposal of National Intelligence Grid to collect and
co-relate intelligence from diverse agencies? All available
indications suggest that they are just limping and there are a
lot of turf wars," Prasad said.

The opposition wondered why Chidambaram was still
"secure in his chair" as Home Minister.

The BJP insisted that the government had failed to
solve any of the terrorist attack cases of the recent past.

"The government has not been able to unearth the
conspiracy, apprehend terrorists and solve all dimensions
behind the very recent German Bakery Blast in Pune, twin
blasts near Bangalore Cricket Stadium, shootout near Jama
Masjid, Delhi, blast at Dashashwamedh Ghat, Varanasi and the
blast outside Delhi High Court," Prasad said.

He maintained that in the wake of these results, the
claim of the Prime Minister that any terrorist attack in
future will be prevented appears "hollow".

"How many modules of the Indian Mujahidin and SIMI,
along with their patrons, have been destroyed in the last four
years? Mr Prime Minister, is terrorism a law and order problem
simpliciter or an attack on India itself?" Prasad said.

BJP also demanded that a POTA-like law be passed to
fight terror.

PTI



First Published: Friday, July 15, 2011 - 20:13

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