A day after two brothers were arrested for allegedly plotting ISIS-inspired lone wolf attacks in Gujarat, sparks flew between the Congress and the ruling BJP over stamping out terrorism, in the Legislative Assembly.
While the opposition party accused the state government of “politicising” the issue of terrorism, the BJP hit back saying the Congress only indulged in “vote bank politics” when it was in power in Centre.
Senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil were engaged in a verbal duel with the MoS for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja during the discussion on a short call notice given by the Congress under rule 116 to seek government’s reply on the recovery of a bomb in Rajkot on February 14.
In his opening remarks, Congress MLA Raghavji Patel, who gave the notice, alleged the law and order situation deteriorated ever since the BJP came to power 20 years ago.
“After recovery of the bomb, four persons of the Dawood Ibrahim gang were nabbed from Rajkot. Recently, people associated with ISIS were arrested from that city, which is the home of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. This is a worrisome scenario for the people of Gujarat,” said Patel.
Hitting back, Jadeja said on the contrary the law and order situation improved only after the BJP came to power in state. He alleged the erstwhile Congress governments were known to protect criminals.
Reacting to the charge, Gohil asked Jadeja to justify the “delay” in arresting the two ISIS suspects from Rajkot.
In his reply, Jadeja told the House that Gujarat ATS was keeping a close watch on these suspects in order to gather credible evidences before arresting them.
“We cannot arrest anyone without having credible evidence. That is why ATS waited for two years and nabbed them before they could carry out their plans. When the Congress was in power (at Centre), you only tried to do vote bank politics on the issue of terrorism instead of taking decisive action,” the minister said.
Objecting to Jadeja’s remarks, Gohil said the Congress-led UPA government had hanged the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack accused Ajmal Kasab.
“It is very easy to do politics in the name of terrorism. Otherwise, you must remember that it was Congress who took firm action against terrorists in the past. It was us who hanged Kasab,” he said.
However, Jadeja invoked the Godhra train carnage of 2002, saying the BJP government has taken a stern action against perpetrators.
“Today is the (15th) anniversary of the Godhra train carnage wherein as many as 58 Ram Bhakts were burnt alive in Godhra on February 27, 2002. The BJP government took strong action and nabbed the culprits,” he said.
Wasim Ramodiya and his brother Naeem were arrested yesterday for allegedly being in contact with ISIS handlers and plotting lone wolf attacks to target religious places like
Chotila. Police also recovered bomb-making material from the duo.