BJP slams Cong af­ter Mecca ver­dict

Saf­fron party tar­gets Cong for ‘ ap­pease­ment politics’ & at­tempt to ‘ de­fame Hin­dus’

The Asian Age - - Nation - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT

The BJP’s move to push for­ward its Hin­dutva agenda got a boost on Mon­day with a spe­cial anti- ter­ror court ac­quit­ting all five ac­cused, in­clud­ing rightwing ac­tivist Swami Asee­m­anand, in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case. The ac­cused walked out free as the spe­cial NIA court ac­quit­ted them for lack of ev­i­dence. Pounc­ing at the op­por­tu­nity, the BJP slammed the Congress for its “ap­pease­ment politics” and at­tempts to “de­fame Hin­dus.”

The ver­dict has come at a time when the BJP has been at­tack­ing the Congress for try­ing to di­vide the Hin­dus in the poll- bound state of Kar­nataka, where most poll pre­dic­tions sug­gest that the rul­ing Congress would emerge as the sin­gle largest party but short of the re­quired num­bers to re­tain power on its own. The BJP in­tends to high­light the ac­quit­tal in its cam­paign­ing in Kar­nataka and 2019 gen­eral polls.

As soon as the ver­dict was an­nounced, the BJP launched a sharp at­tack on the Congress for de­fam­ing the Hin­dus and coin­ing the term “saf­fron ter­ror” and “Hindu ter­ror”.

The court in Hy­der­abad ac­quit­ted the five ac­cused, in­clud­ing Asee­m­anand, rul­ing that the pros­e­cu­tion failed to prove

For its ap­pease­ment politics, the Cong tar­geted and de­famed Hin­dus and the coun­try for merely some votes. That con­spir­acy has been ex­posed. — Sam­bit Pa­tra, BJP spokesman

It ( ac­quit­tal) is hap­pen­ing in each case since the govt was formed four years ago... Peo­ple are los­ing faith in the agen­cies... — Ghu­lam Nabi Azad, Congress leader

Jus­tice hasn’t been done… ques­tions would be raised over the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem ( of the coun­try) if such bi­ased prose­cu­tions con­tinue. — Asadud­din Owaisi, AIMIM MP

I had ex­pected it… all the pieces of proof were en­gi­neered. — R. V. S. Mani, Former MHA of­fi­cial

BJP spokesper­son Sam­bit Pa­tra al­leged that the Cong has long ‘ de­famed’ Hin­dus for votes and de­manded that party chief Rahul Gandhi and his pre­de­ces­sor So­nia Gandhi apol­o­gise for terms such as ‘ saf­fron ter­ror’ and ‘ Hindu ter­ror’

charges against them. A mas­sive blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid on May 18, 2007, dur­ing Fri­day prayers, killing nine peo­ple and wound­ing 58 oth­ers.

Re­act­ing to the court ver­dict, BJP spokesper­son Sam­bit Pa­tra al­leged that the Congress has long “de­famed” Hin­dus for votes and de­manded that party pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi and his pre­de­ces­sor So­nia Gandhi apol­o­gise for terms such as “saf­fron ter­ror” and “Hindu ter­ror”. The BJP said that Kar­nataka peo­ple will teach the Congress “a les­son” as they had in the 2014 Lok Sabha elec­tions when it was re­duced to 44 seats.

Hit­ting back at the Congress lead­ers for blam­ing the BJP govern­ment for the ac­quit­tal of the ac­cused, Dr Pa­tra al­leged that the Op­po­si­tion party has “dou­ble stan­dards” and as it had wel­comed a court or­der in favour of ac­cused in the 2G scam case. He also noted that the Congress was in power for seven years af­ter the blasts and asked what it had done dur­ing the pe­riod.

“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,” he said.

Tak­ing a dig at Mr Gandhi, the BJP leader won­dered if the Congress pres­i­dent would lead a can­dle march to In­dia Gate and apol­o­gise for his at­tempts to “de­fame” Hin­dus.

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