The BJP on Friday demanded immediate rejection of the mercy petition of Afzal Guru, convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on Parliament and sentenced to death.

A day after President Pratibha Patil rejected the mercy petitions of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar of Punjab and Mahendra Nath Das of Assam, BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad argued that there was no justification for the delay on the mercy petition of Afzal Guru.

At a news conference here, Mr. Prasad pointed out that the Supreme Court had dismissed his appeal against the death sentence in August 2005 and rejected the review petition in May 2008.

“Which law authorised the government to consider the mercy petitions in sequence? Afzal Guru has been sentenced to death for a heinous crime. Had he and his accomplices succeeded in executing their plan, the entire leadership of the all political parties would have been wiped out. There is absolutely no justification in delaying Afzal Guru's petition.”

He alleged that the example of Afzal Guru was a “copy book case of vote-bank politics.”

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