The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Terror ‘mischief’ stick for BJP

New Delhi, Sept. 27: The Congress today took the BJP to task for saying that it and party president Sonia Gandhi was abetting terrorism, adding that such “mischievous” statements from BJP leaders would undermine national consensus on the fight against extremism.

The Congress said Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s move to transfer a number of impartial officers, reward those accused of dereliction of duty and depute many officers for his Gaurav yatra had compromised security arrangements and led to the militant attack on the Swaminarayan temple.

Party spokespersons Anand Sharma and Abhishek Singhvi said the BJP government in Gujarat was accountable and answerable for what has happened. “Modi put the entire civic administration and police on bandobast duty for his controversial Gaurav yatra, thereby leaving people vulnerable and unprotected,” they said.

The leaders demanded Modi’s immediate resignation and imposition of Central rule in the state. Singhvi said Modi could not continue as caretaker chief minister and constitutional authorities should think of imposing Article 356 in Gujarat.

“The government of Gujarat cannot be absolved of its responsibility of protecting the lives of citizens. It ignored intelligence reports and a specific message from Delhi police about possible attacks,” Sharma said.

Taking exception to the BJP charge that Sonia and some Opposition leaders fomented terrorism, they accused the ruling party of undermining the national consensus on countering terrorism by issuing such “mischievous and outrageous” statements.

“While the Congress has never treated terrorism as a partisan political matter, the demagogues of the BJP are indulging in petty politics undermining national solidarity and unity,” Sharma said. Despite the BJP’s “ridiculous charges” the national effort to stamp out terrorism will continue, he added.

Detailing various acts of omissions and commissions by Modi, Singhvi said the caretaker chief minister has a “limitless capacity of not taking care of his state” and, therefore, Central rule was needed to ensure Assembly polls are held in a fair and impartial manner.

The specific grounds for Modi’s removal cited by Singhvi are:

* The chief minister transferred several good officers in an arbitrary manner

* He piled unprecedented abuse on constitutional authorities such as Chief Election Commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh

* He carried on a consciously consistent hate campaign against a particular community

* He failed to provide safety and security to the people of the state

Singhvi said Modi had “disqualified” himself from being the chief minister and the only answer was President’s rule in the state to ensure a free, fair and objective poll.

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