New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah came down heavily upon Congress president Rahul Gandhi and called him ‘insensitive’ for attacking the party over JeM chief Masood Azhar’s release from jail in 1999. He also corner the opposition party on the issue of terrorism, asking why the UPA government had released 25 terrorists from jails in 2010 in the name of improving ties with Pakistan.
“The fact is that the Congress’ stand on terrorism, separatism and naxalism has always been vacillating. Even senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit has acknowledged that policies of Manmohan Singh were soft compared to those of the Modi government on terrorism,” Shah said. However on Thursday, Dikshit had said her comments were twisted by a section of media.
In a blog, Shah said that by raising the ‘unnecessary’ issue of JeM chief’s release from jail by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in 1999 the Congress has triggered a debate on such decisions taken in past.
Noting that Vajpayee had called an all-party meeting to discuss the matter after an Indian Airlines plane was hijacked, and hijackers sought the release of some terrorists, Shah said the decision to free Masood was taken with the consent of leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, of all political parties.
“By questioning that decision, the Congress and Rahul Gandhi are not only showing insensitivity but also raising a question mark at the wisdom of their senior leaders,” he said.
The Congress president has been raising the issue of Masood’s release following the Pulwama terror attack for which Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility.
He then asked the Congress to explain why the UPA government released 25 terrorists belonging to JeM and LeT on May 28, 2010. He added that one of them – Shahid Lateef – was the main handler of the terror attack at the Pathankot air base in 2016.
Shah also asked the Congress to explain as to why Sonia Gandhi had cried after terrorists were killed in Batla House encounter. His query came in an apparent reference to Salman Khurshid’s comments that the UPA chairperson had cried bitterly at seeing the photographs of encounter.
Shah said terror attacks occurred in major Indian cities during the 10-year UPA rule while the Modi government ensured that terrorism remained confined to border regions.
In the blog, he also asked Rahul Gandhi to take a look at Jawaharlal Nehru’s twin ‘mistakes’ – taking the Kashmir issue to the UN and allowing China to become the world body’s permanent member, saying the country continues to suffer due to this.
(Inputs from PTI)