Defending his remarks on Afzal Guru being the “son-in-law” of the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari reiterated here on Sunday that there was “no question of an apology.”

“It is unfortunate that in India those who speak out against terrorism are targeted whereas those who commit acts of terror are not punished even six years after they have been given the death sentence,” said Mr. Gadkari.

“His [Afzal Guru's] mercy petition is under consideration after which a decision will be taken,” Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at an event in Murshidabad district.

Without mentioning the BJP president, Mr. Mukherjee added: “When politicians say something I will hope that the limits of propriety are not overstepped. This needs to be borne in mind.”

“Why should I apologise,” Mr. Gadkari questioned, adding that that he had “merely asked the question who is that criminal [Afzal Guru] to you [the Congress]?”

“No action is being taken against terrorists for the sake of vote-bank politics,” he added.

Mr. Gadkari was in the city to attend a function celebrating the 109{+t}{+h} birth anniversary of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

Mr. Gadkari said the problems faced by the country were due to “lack of vision” by the Central government.

“The wrong economic policy and bad governance is the reason for inflation, unemployment and poverty,” he said. Mr. Gadkari also said that the democratic process was under threat. “By announcing 230 districts in this country as Naxalite-affected, the government has usurped the democratic establishment,” he said.

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