BIT­TER WAR OF WORDS

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

A bit­ter war of words broke out be­tween the BJP and the Congress soon af­ter the Mecca Masjid blast case ver­dict on Mon­day. The BJP de­manded an apol­ogy from the Congress, Rahul Gandhi and So­nia Gandhi for “de­fam­ing Hin­dus”, while the Op­po­si­tion party, in turn, ques­tioned the im­par­tial­ity of the Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency under the Modi gov­ern­ment.

At a press meet­ing in New Delhi, the BJP de­manded an apol­ogy from the Congress, al­leg­ing that the “party’s at­tempts to de­fame Hin­dus” had come a crop­per af­ter a spe­cial anti-ter­ror court in Hyderabad ac­quit­ted rightwing ac­tivist Swami Asee­m­anand and four oth­ers in the case.

“For its ap­pease­ment pol­i­tics, the Congress tar­geted and de­famed Hin­dus and the coun­try for merely some votes. That con­spir­acy has been ex­posed. The Congress has been ex­posed like never be­fore,” BJP spokesper­son Sam­bit Pa­tra said.

Leader of the Op­po­si­tion in the Ra­jya Sabha Ghu­lam Nabi Azad, how­ever, al­leged that ever since the NDA came to power in 2014, most sen­si­tive cases had been col­laps­ing.

“It is hap­pen­ing in each case since the gov­ern­ment was formed four years ago ... peo­ple are los­ing faith in the agen­cies,” he told pressper­sons.

Dou­ble stan­dards

Mr. Pa­tra, how­ever, called it “dou­ble stan­dards’’ of the Congress as the party had wel­comed a court or­der in favour of the 2G scam ac­cused. At­tack­ing for­mer Home Min­is­ters P. Chi­dambaram and Sushil Kumar Shinde, Mr. Pa­tra al­leged that they had used terms such as “saf­fron ter­ror” and “Hindu ter­ror.”

“Will Mr. Rahul Gandhi hold can­dle light vigil at In­dia Gate tonight for de­fam­ing the Hindu re­li­gion?” he asked.

The Congress, how­ever, re­sponded by say­ing Mr. Gandhi never talked of any saf­fron ter­ror.

As­sert­ing that the peo­ple will teach the Congress a les­son in the Kar­nataka Assem­bly poll, Mr. Pa­tra, how­ever, ac­cused Kar­nataka Chief Min­is­ter Sid­daramiah of “hob­nob­bing” with ac­tivists of the Pop­u­lar Front of In­dia.

PTI ■

Off the hook: A file photo of Asee­m­anand.

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