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BJP to pursue Antulay issue

Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani

Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani  

Neena Vyas

Advani says consensus disturbed by Minister’s remarks

NEW DELHI: The Parliament session may be over but the Bharatiya Janata Party has promised to keep up its pressure on the government over the remarks of Minister for Minority Affairs A.R. Antulay on the manner in which the former chief of Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad Hemant Karkare died during the terror attack in Mumbai on November 26.

Speaking to party men just before Parliament convened on Tuesday, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani said the consensus in the country after the Mumbai attacks was disturbed by the uncalled-for remarks of Mr. Antulay.

The Minister, Mr. Advani said, had become a “hero” in Pakistan at a time when India was trying to corner it for refusing to take concrete action against terrorists and terrorism.

Briefing the press later, party’s deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the BJP was quite dissatisfied with the government’s statement on the issue. The party would not let the matter die down but would explore ways to carry the message of the “Congress playing vote-bank politics with terror to the people.”

The Antulay statement reflected the “mindset” of the Congress, she said. “For the BJP, the issue is not closed. We will continue to demand that Mr. Antulay be sacked and we will oppose the mindset that uses the terrorism issue to play vote-bank politics,” she added.

Earlier, addressing the BJP Parliamentary Party, Mr. Advani said the Congress cannot take an anti-Pakistan stand externally and persist with its “pro-Pakistan stand” internally. The party’s campaign in favour of a tougher terror law was vindicated as the government was now forced to rethink and revisit the laws and bring in amendments, he said.

“Our demand for tougher anti-terror laws for the last five years has been somewhat fulfilled,” Mr. Advani noted, referring to legislation creating the National Investigation Agency and amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

>Home Minister's statement on death of Hemant Karkare

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