'Modi has dragged President's office into electoral politics'

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Ahmedabad, Dec 14 (UNI) Finance Minister P Chidambaram today accused Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of ''dragging the office of the President'' into the electoral politics by raising the issue of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru's execution.

''A number of mercy petitions are pending before the President's office, including that of those responsible for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. By raising this issue Mr Modi is dragging the office of the President into electoral controversy. This is unacceptable,'' Mr Chidambaram said while talking to reporters here.

''There is a hidden agenda behind this,'' Mr Chidambaram said while adding that Mr Modi has raised Afzal Guru's issue because of the latter's religion.

He condemned the Chief Minister for ''dividing the society and this divided society was visible during the electoral battle''.

The Finance Minister said elections are fought on issues, programmes and performances. ''Every government has its successes and failures. Unfortunately, all that has been swept aside. What I have seen on television and read in the newspapers has left me unhappy and perturbed,'' he said.

''The BJP has turned all norms of democracy on its head. It has generated heat and controversy and incited raw communal passions,'' Mr Chidambaram alleged.

UNI

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