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Blasts linked to Bush protests: Advani

Blasts linked to Bush protests: Advani

Author: Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
Publication: Rediff.Com
Date: March 8, 2006
URL: http://ia.rediff.com/news/2006/mar/08up1.htm?q=tp&file=.htm

Leader of Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Kishenchand Advani while condemning the Varanasi bomb blasts told mediapersons that he cannot delink the events in the holy city from the anti-Bush protests and the anti- Prophet cartoon protests, which took place all over India when President George Bush visited India.

When asked to explain his statement, Advani told rediff.com, "I was trying to say that since the last few days an atmosphere was allowed to be created in the country where fundamentalism is getting space to be nurtured."

"Some people have not understood my reaction. Terrorism is not due to India's close relations with the US. We were facing terrorism long before the Bush visit," he said.

"When I went to Pakistan, I told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that the terror infrastructure in his country is not yet dismantled. When on March 2, I met President Bush I told him to get rid of the impression that terrorism is on the decline in India. It's your wrong impression, I told him. In the last few months, India has faced terrorism in Ayodhya, on the eve of Diwali and later in Bangalore. The attack in Varanasi is one more in that series. Camps are not dismantled across the border and terrorism is alive because the infrastructure of terrorism is not dismantled," he added.

"Many political parties, lead by Congress, are vying to promote minorityism. Yesterday what I saw in Parliament was extremely disgusting. I saw the ruling party, Left parties and allies competing to table the Godhra report. Do you know when they were competing to appease the minorities what was the first item on Parliament's agenda? The prime minister's statement to Parliament on the Iran nuclear issue!" he said.

"This kind of approach will not benefit the minority, nor any political party indulging in it. It won't benefit the country," he added.

When told that critics accuse the Bhartiya Janata Party and leaders like him of politicising a terrorist attack, Advani said, "They can react to the canard report of Banerjee panel on the Godhra incident. What kind of approach is this? The high court has also passed a stricture against the Justice Banerjee Committee and the railway ministry. The railway minister (Lalu Prasad Yadav) deserves to go."

"When such a huge episode occurs in country we have to condemn it , we will protest against it," he said.


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