poses threat to country's 'vital' interests: Advani (Roundup)
Nagpur, Feb 8 (IANS) The continuation of the Congress-led
United Progressive Alliance government posed a "threat
to the vital interests of the country", the Bharatiya
Janata Party's senior leader L.K. Advani said Sunday and demanded
a high-level judicial inquiry in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist
attack. "The government's soft and compromising approach
to cross-border terrorism, further weakened by the virus of
votebank considerations, has endangered India's internal security
like never before," Advani said, addressing the party's
national council meeting here.
The party's national executive Friday preceded the two-day
national council meeting, which concluded Sunday, with the
party leaders expressing the hope that the BJP-led National
Democratic Alliance would come to power because of the Congress'
failure on internal security and "all fronts".
The meeting, coming weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha elections
slated in April-May, unanimously passed a resolution to this
Advani said the five years of UPA's rule witnessed the "highest
number of terrorist incidents and casualties since the onset
of terrorism in India in the early 1980s".
"Secure in the knowledge that the government in New Delhi
has neither the political will nor the clarity of policy to
fight terrorism, the enemies of India have felt so emboldened
that they mounted one barbaric attack after another,"
The "most audacious assault till date" was the Nov
26 strike in Mumbai and the revelations later showed that
it was not a case of intelligence failure but more of a government
"The Congress-led governments at the centre and in Maharashtra
were sleeping in spite of having full information that the
terrorists could use the sea route," he said.
Advani demanded a "high-level judicial inquiry"
to unearth what went wrong and also recommend ways of preventing
He heaped praises on the party's chief ministers Narendra
Modi (Gujarat), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and
Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) for their performance. He credited
Chouhan and Singh with the party's victory in the November-December
assembly elections in their states.
Referring to Modi, Advani said the party was "proud of
"A journalist once asked me if Narendra Modi was becoming
larger than the party. I replied that if a family member is
becoming more popular than the head of the family, then it
is a proud moment for the entire family," he said.
"The same was once said about (former prime minister
Atal Bihari) Vajpayee," Advani added.
"People called Narendra Modi a merchant of death and
challenged him to win the (assembly) elections in Gujarat
(in 2007). But he won," Advani said. He was referring
to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's description of Modi as
"maut ke saudagar" - for his government's alleged
inaction during the 2002 communal violence that saw 1,169
He said it was wrong to believe that his party had "returned
to Ram" because it had never abandoned the god.
"Be it Ram Setu or Ram temple (in Ayodhya), we have never
abandoned Ram," Advani said.
And he said, to loud applause, that the true victory of Ram
would be when a "magnificent temple" is constructed
in Ayodhya - reiterating party chief Rajnath Singh's comments
Radical Hindu mobs brought down the 16th century Babri mosque
in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh in December 1992 claiming it was
built at the site of Lord Ram's birthplace.
In a reference to the Congress, he said the BJP was "not
run by dynasty".
"Sadly in our politics there are various types of parties.
One is a family dynasty," He added, however: "I
am not referring only to the Congress."
Advani urged party leaders and cadres to show exemplary conduct
to prove that "our claim to a party with a difference"
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