Afzal entitled to due process of law: PM

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Ahmedabad, Dec 11: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while stating that the case of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who had been sentenced to death, was under the due process of law, said the latter is entitled to the rule of law like everyone else. ''Let the rule of law take its course,'' the Prime Minister said while talking to reporters after addressing a public meeting here. Dr Singh was replying to a question as to why the issue had been kept hanging for so long.

The Prime Minister, meanwhile, alleged that an atmosphere of fear prevailed in Gujarat which needed to be replaced by camaraderie.

A division was being created among the people in Gujarat, he said, adding, ''I sincerely hope that this election will be a test case for a change for the better.'' On the UPA Government's performance, he said during the last four years of UPA rule, the country had been moving forward, and the growth rate was 9 per cent.

This had boosted the Centre's and state governments tax resources and helped in the investment of plan expenditure in health, rural development and infrastructure development, thereby benefitting both the Congress and non-Congress ruled states. The accusation that the Centre was treating Gujarat in a step-motherly way was, therefore, totally unfair, Dr Singh said.

To a question on Sonia Gandhi's reported ''maut ka saudagar'' statement, Dr Singh said he would not like to comment on the issue as it was a matter before the Election Commission.

Replying to another question on the Congress' failure to project a Chief Ministerial candidate in Gujarat, Dr Singh said the Congress is a democratic party and the decision on this would be taken by party MLAs after the elections.

UNI

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