Congress blames BJP for politicising Mumbai terror strikes

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New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) The Congress today charged the BJP with "politicising" the Mumbai terror attacks barely 36 hours after terrorists struck Taj and Oberoi hotels and Nariman House and left behind a trail of devastation.

"The BJP has started politicising the issue, which is highly condemnable," AICC spokesman Manish Tewari told mediapersons, while referring to the BJP's advertisement on terror in today's newspapers and the statement of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Mumbai last night, criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and describing his address to the Nation as ''disappointing.'' The BJP released an advertisement on the eve of the Delhi elections in all the major newspapers, saying, "Brutal terror strikes at will. Weak government : unwilling and incapable." "We are in the middle of a fight, where innocent lives are at stake. This is how the BJP decides to conduct itself," Mr Tewari said, adding that "The kind of advertisement that has been released by the BJP showed that they are desparate for votes. They could have well carried an advertisement saluting the valiant police officers, who lost their lives fighting against the terrorists." In this context, he said there were terror attacks in many other countries like the US, UK, Germany, Israel, Spain and Russia, but all the political parties there stood together in times of such crisis.

Saying that it was not an attack on Mumbai but on the entire nation, Mr Tewari said all the political parties should stand united to face the scourge of terrorism.

Asked if there was any role of Pakistan in the Mumbai terror strikes, he said, "Whosoever is responsible will pay the price.

"If the lead goes to Pakistani establishment, they will also be made equally responsible." He said the Prime Minister had made it clear yesterday, in his address to the nation, that if any of our neighbours were involved, there would be a cost to pay.

When his attention was drawn to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's telephone call to Dr Singh expressing solidarity with India in the fight against terrorism, he said, "India has been saying time and again that Islamabad and New Delhi should work together to rid South Asia of the scourge of terrorism.

Those, who are responsible for the outrage in Mumbai and their linkages, come from Pakistan." Asked if the Congress was of the view that there was a massive intelligence failure, Mr Tewari said, "Let us all honestly make effort to get into the bottom of the issue. The theatre of action may have been Mumbai, but the manner in which it was done and the targeted attack on foreigners point to a greater conspiracy." UNI SH SBC RN1842

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