Even before the gunbattle with terrorists in Mumbai could end, a slanging match on Friday began between ruling Congress and opposition BJP on the issue of handling of internal security and dealing with terrorists.
BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani accused the intelligence agencies of failing to get a whiff of Mumbai terror attacks, alleging their preoccupation with "Hindu terror"– an apparent reference to Malegaon blast probe –helped the terrorist plot go undetected.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, BJP's anti-terror mascot, sought to upstage Congress by visiting the three Mumbai spots where the operations against terror were on and was promptly branded as a "publicity monger" by the ruling party.
Congress also raked up the Kandahar hijack episode during the BJP rule and alleged release of terrorists in return for safe release of passengers onboard had brought India to its knees
It also sought to puncture Narendra Modi's anti-terror plank alleging he had failed to provide manpower for a centrally-funded coastal policing
AICC spokesman Manish Tewari accused Advani, who is also the Leader of the Opposition, of failing to accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Mumbai, which would have sent a strong signal of a united India against terrorism.
Advani preferred to go to Mumbai along with Jaswant Singh whose conduct at Kandahar is possibly responsible for what we are facing today", said Tewari at the party briefing.
In a statement, Advani accused the UPA of not being serious about tackling terror. "The government's non-serious approach is reinforced by reports that the Mumbai attackers arrived in the city by the sea route.
Note to BJP, your associates are responsible for thousands of deaths in state abetted riots and pogroms against Muslims and Christians. Also, your associates are suspected in fomenting acts of terror, shut the fuck up. You are equally complicit in increasing tensions in the country.
Note to Congress, You are also responsible for thousands of preventable violent deaths. You are inept and unable to setup a basic centralized counter terrorism program, you have, on your watch, let India suffer many brazen terrorist attacks without doing anything to improve intelligence gathering or have any kind of rational response. You have been using the Muslim community to gather votes for years without actually doing anything to make things better. You have not been able to bring the organizers of riots and mayhem to justice, hell, you haven’t even tried. You have no right to talk.
If there is one thing that can be done right away, list all the violence that has occurred in the last few years and actually bring the people responsible for this violence to trial, get some convictions, do some good police and prosecution work. Maybe then we can build some confidence in the system. We can’t have Hindus going free for hate crimes/terrorism, we can’t have Muslims going free for hate crimes/terrorism.
Rule of law, quaint, old fashioned, boring, but in the long term, combining a robust counter terrorism program with a low tolerance approach to violence is our only cure.