Don't whip up communal passion, Congress tells BJP

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) The Congress today accused the BJP of "flaring up" communal passion in Rajasthan in the wake of the serial bomb blasts in Jaipur which claimed more than 65 lives, and said such act was equivalent to that of the terrorists.

"Terrorists are exactly doing what Mr L K Advani and other leaders in the BJP are trying to do. Terrorists and those who are trying to make political advantage of terror incidents should be condemned," AICC spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons, while appealing to the BJP not to "politicise the unfortunate incident." Asked if he was equating Mr Advani with terrorists, he said the job of a responsible politician should be, in any situation, to provide a soothing effect, instead of vitiating the atmosphere.

"Both Mr Advani and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and other BJP functionaries use a language which could flare up communal passion and worsen the situation," Mr Ahmed said.

In this context, he highlighted the visit of Congress president Sonia Gandhi to Jaipur and claimed how soothing it was to the families of the victims of the blasts.

"She had sympathised with the affected families and met them, besides visiting the spots of the bomb blasts." On the other hand, Mr Advani, who also visited there, issued a statement to flare up passion.

On the allegation of the BJP that the Home Ministry had failed to provide any useful intelligence input to Rajasthan about the May 13 blasts, Mr Ahmed, who is also Minister of State for Home in the Union Government, said law and order was a state subject.

However, the Home Ministry used to provide to the states whatever information it received from its intelligence and other agencies.

Mr Ahmed said the number of people who were killed in terror attacks had come down during the past four years under the UPA dispensation.

Saying that the UPA government wanted to make the fight against terror more effective, he said it was with this objective in mind that the Centre had proposed a federal agency to investigate terror and other crimes having inter-state and trans-national ramifications. However, there was no consensus among the states on this issue. "It is high time that there was a serious debate on this issue." On the BJP allegation that the number of terror incidents had gone up after the abolition of the POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) by the present government, Mr Ahmed said the BJP and its allies opposed the TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities) when it was brought by the Congress government.

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