The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sena blasts Centre

Mumbai, March 30 (PTI): A day after the National Democratic Alliance marked five years of its rule with fanfare, Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, whose party is a key constituent of the alliance, today attacked the Centre, accusing it of “lacking a dynamic and able leadership” to sternly deal with growing threats from the Islamic fundamentalist forces and cross-border terrorism.

Expressing apprehension over the growing threat from fundamentalist forces, he said the country was passing through a critical phase and was akin to “an orphan for the lack of dynamic and able leadership”.

“People have been killed in Akshardham. Kashmiri Pundits have been killed.... Every time there is a blast in Mumbai or elsewhere or innocent Hindus are massacred in Jammu and Kashmir... we blame Pakistan, ISI or Simi,” he said.

“Who has tied your hands' Why don’t you fight,” he asked the government.

In his unique style, Thackeray said: “Even there are restrictions on our soldiers from taking on terrorists. They have been provided with guns but there are no bullets.”

He also expressed unhappiness over the Centre not taking an aggressive posture against the US for the war against Iraq.

“I am not at all happy with the Centre’s stance,” Thackeray said when asked about India’s stand on the issue.

Thackeray also showered wholesome praise on the city’s crime branch sleuths for gunning down three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants yesterday. “It is said that I was on the hit list of the slain militants,” the Sena leader said.

He said his name was mentioned in the diary recovered from the Lashkar militants killed in an encounter with the police at Goregaon.

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