Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor’s ‘tweet’ on Indian visas reflects his casual approach to a serious question and could dilute the government’s stated objective of fighting terrorism, the BJP said on Monday.

What had the government to say about the apparent contradictions between Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s promise that David Headley (under investigation in the U.S. for his role in the Mumbai terror attack, among other things) would now find it difficult to come and go as he pleased, and Mr. Tharoor’s ‘tweet’ that questioned the wisdom of the move to tighten visa rules while pointing out that the 26/11 terrorists “had no visas” to enter India, BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy asked. The BJP did not subscribe to Mr. Tharoor’s view that difficulty in obtaining visas would hurt tourism.

On the tatkal scheme introduced three years ago for obtaining passports on the basis of three of the 12 acceptable documents, Mr. Rudy said: “Some were able to get passports without a single document that automatically entails police verification. We cannot afford to have such lax rules if we are to fight terrorism.”

The BJP said the government should explain where it stood on Mr. Tharoor’s frequent tweets — as Minister was he free to say whatever he wanted to say and whenever?