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Mayawati targets BJP over Masood Azhar listing

"Earlier BJP government made Masood Azhar a guest and later freed him abroad. Now, at the time of elections, they are trying to gather votes in his name."

Mayawati targets BJP over Masood Azhar listing
ANI Photo

New Delhi: At a time when India and the world community has united in hailing the UN listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, Mayawati has trained her guns against the Bharatiya Janata Party and accused its leaders of trying to gain electoral mileage from Wednesday's developments in New York.

On Wednesday, China finally released its technical hold on the listing of Azhar as a global terrorist. In what is being widely seen as a massive win for Indian diplomacy, Opposition parties in the country have been rather muted in their congratulatory messages. Among them is Mayawati. "Earlier BJP government made Masood Azhar a guest and later freed him abroad. Now, at the time of elections, they are trying to gather votes in his name. It is condemnable," she said on Thursday, referring to when the Atal Bihar Vajpayee-led government had released the Azhar in Kabul in exchange for the hostages in IC 814 hijacking.

Rival parties, including Congress, have repeatedly attacked BJP for having released Azhar as per the demands of the hijackers of the Air India plane. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had, in March of this year, accused current National Security Adviser Ajit Doval of being part of those who had released Azhar. In an interview to Zee News, Doval had explained the ground realities at the time.

Even now, when Azhar has been listed as a global terrorist in what is a snub to Pakistan - a country that has sheltered and supported him, brazen politics is being played in India. Congress has termed the development as 'belated' while also attempting to take credit for it. Former Home Minister P Chidambaram has said the process for Azhar being listed as a global terrorist was started by the UPA government although India's ambassador to the UN in 2009 - Hardip Singh - said that Congress had chosen not to pursue the matter.