Cong takes on Advani again on Kandahar issue

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New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) Seeking to put the Kandahar hijack issue back on the centrestage to embarrass the BJP, the Congress today asked why then Union Home Minister L K Advani did not attend the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) when the country was in the midst of the worst ever hostage crisis.

The Congress poser to Mr Advani comes against the backdrop of the statement of Mr Jaswant Singh, the then External Affairs Minister, that the decision to send him to Kandahar in Afghanistan was taken by the CCS and that Mr Advani could have "forgotten" the meeting.

Mr Advani had claimed in his autobiography 'My Life, My Country', which was published last month, that he was unaware of the Cabinet decision to send Mr Singh and also the release of the three terrorists in exchange for passengers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814, hijacked and finally taken to Kandahar in December 1999.

AICC Spokesman Abishek Manu Singhvi told mediapersons that Mr Advani was only worried about his image. That was the reason why he had sought to distance himself from the decision of the NDA government on the Kandahar hijack issue.

In this context, he asked how a person like Mr Advani could become Prime Minister and lead the nation. '''Leaders lead from the front...Leaders take the bullet in the chest...Leaders don't blame others and will not suffer from selective amnesia...They don't take refuge in petty excuses.'' ''Mr Advani should advise the nation as to where he had gone without attending the crucial CCS meeting,'' he said.

UNI SH RL KN1844

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