OTHER STATES

Congress appeasing terrorists: Gadkari

Raktima Bose

Kolkata: Assailing the Congress for “appeasing terrorists in the name of practising secularism,” BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said it did not have the ‘courage' to fight terrorism and was thus exposing the country to security threats.

“It is unfortunate for our country that the United Progressive Alliance government could not till now execute the death sentence handed by the Supreme Court to Afzal Guru for attacking Parliament in 2006…Should terrorists be honoured in the country henceforth? Till now the Congress was appeasing Muslims for vote-bank politics but now it is appeasing terrorists too.”

Mr. Gadkari was addressing a Citizen's Convention organised here by the West Bengal BJP to protest against price rise and the State government's plan to implement job reservation for Muslims.

Mr. Gadkari clarified that the BJP was against terrorists and not Muslims. “It is widely campaigned that if the BJP comes to power, then great misery will befall Muslims. Had it been so, how was Abdul Kalam Azad elected President during the National Democratic Alliance regime? We are against the ISI, Al-Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorists but not against Muslims.”

As for the controversy, raised by Maharashtra Congress workers, over the invitation extended to actor Amitabh Bachchan for the inauguration of the Bandra-Worli sea link, Mr. Gadkari said: “Has Mr. Bachchan become another Dawood Ibrahim or any anti-national force by becoming the brand ambassador of Gujarat? What sort of democracy is this?”

He called Narendra Modi a “model Chief Minister” for ushering in development.

Mr. Gadkari blamed the UPA government's “bad governance and wrong economic policies” for the rising inflation and price of essential commodities.