Votes will bring back POTA : Advani

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New Delhi, Oct 4: BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani on Saturday, Oct 4 promised to bring back POTA when the NDA coalition came to power after the Lok Sabha elections and expected the Congress to extend its support to the law in the Lower House of Parliament without giving the trouble of passing it in the Joint Session of the Union Legislature.

Inaugurating a National Seminar on 'War on Terrorism', Mr Advani said several functionaries, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had spoken on the need for a 'strong anti-terror law' and they should support the passage in the 15th Lok Sabha, he said, adding that it was time to fight terror treating it as an issue that deserved broad national consensus.

Detailing the observations of Congressmen, he wondered how the country can be safe when a government which had no mind of its own but spoke in many voices and a PM who had an office but authority, He asked. ''It is difficult to find out who runs this govenment and who takes the decision,'' he remarked.

Recalling the PM's address at the Governors' Conference stating that the government was considering bringing about legislation to strengthen substantive anti-terrorism law in tune with the global consensus on the fight against terrorism. National Security Advisor M K Narayanan had favoured the Home Ministry to allow the anti-terror law passed by the Gujarat Legislature to get Presidential assent. The Administrative Reforms Commission, too, had supported the need for a stringent anti-terror law with strong safeguards to prevent misuse.

Without taking the name of Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, he said had favoured a ''powerful law'' to counter terrorism and not ''POTA, a failed law''.

The BJP leader said his party favoured setting up of a Federal Anti-terror Agency to effectively evolve coordination among Centre and States in intelligence gathering, intelligence exchange, action, invstigation, prosecution and planning and execution of preventive operations. There was also a need to implement the recommendations of Justice Malimath Committee recommendations to overhaul the Criminal Justice System in a time-bound manner.

Mr Advani said no religion or faith should be held responsible for criminal acts of invidividuals of a community, he said instigating any community in the fight against terror was wrong, counter-productive and must be condemned. However, it was important to recognise the religious extremism of a certain kind provided the ideological fervour and outward justification for terrorism and separatism. One could not forget the dangerous consequences of misinterpreted and misuse of the two nation theory, he said.


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