Press Trust of india

Cong slams BJP’s willingness to “flirt” with anti-nationals

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New Delhi: Accusing the BJP of showing a “disturbing willingness to flirt with anti-national forces”, the Congress on Tuesday questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the alleged links of two arrested terrorists with the ruling party.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged the BJP was indulging in “fake nationalism”, remarks coming in the backdrop of alleged links of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal’s killer Riyaz Attari and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Talib Hussain Shah with the BJP.

He said two incidents in the past week have exposed the “double-faced” BJP, after Attari and Shah, who was captured by villagers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, were claimed to be associated with the Centre’s ruling party. Their photographs with BJP leaders have gone viral on social media, he said.

Khera also asked how Talib Hussain Shah, who was allegedly planning to attack the Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir, was seen in a photograph with Amit Shah. He wondered whether it was not a security breach.

A photograph tweeted by the Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir unit showed a bearded man standing among people at a meeting attended by Amit Shah which some claimed was Talib, the alleged mastermind of serial bomb blasts in Rajouri.

“It is shocking that the BJP, a party that loses no opportunity to preach to Indians about nationalism, has members and office-bearers who are deeply implicated in violent anti-national activities,” Khera told reporters, adding these were disturbing instances.

Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh had said on Monday Talib Hussain Shah was briefly associated with a political party and also posed himself as a mediaperson.

The BJP had denied claims that the arrested LeT terrorist was its member.

Khera claimed the NIA, the federal anti-terror probe agency, had confirmed former BJP leader and ex-sarpanch Tariq Ahmad Mir’s association with terrorists. Mir, arrested two years ago for allegedly procuring weapons for Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed Babu, was claimed to be an associate of Dy SP Davinder Singh. Naveed Babu had previously been arrested with Davinder Singh who had himself been accused of supplying weapons to terrorists, he said.

The truth would have come out had the probe in the Davinder Singh case been carried to its conclusion but was halted midway, the Congress spokesperson alleged.

“Will the prime minister open his mouth? Will the home minister come out and give a clarification to the country? What were these terrorists doing in the BJP? What were you doing with those terrorists in the BJP?” he asked.

The Congress leader wondered what kind of ideology finds place for both Nupur Sharma and Riyaz Attari, and one that accommodates radicals like Talib Hussain Shah.

Rajasthan police’s SIT has claimed one of the two killers of Kanhaiya Lal was linked to Pakistan-based Dawat-e-Islami.

“Is the BJP inspired by the alliance between the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League in which extremists of all religions banded together to prevent nationalist forces like the Congress to come to power?

“We appeal to the people to India to see through the BJP’s fake nationalism and its disturbing willingness to flirt with anti-national forces,” Khera said.

He also took a swipe at the BJP over its “atmanirbhar” slogan while linking the party to terrorists and fringe elements.

“To come in the mainstream how many fringe elements you have? Nupur Sharma belongs to you, Riyaz Attari belongs to you, Talib Hussain belongs to you, it’s a truly atmanirbhar party, self sufficient. Terrorists belong to you, you have money to fund terror, you give tickets to terrorist, you give posts to terrorists in your party,” he alleged.

Khera also said Congress’ Rajasthan unit president Govind Singh Dotasara has written to the NIA chief drawing his attention to the new facts that have emerged, “wherein terrorist Riyaz Attari has been clearly found as a member of the BJP, not only participating in their various programmes, but photographs of the day when he joined the party in November, 2019 have appeared”.

The Congress leader said Dotasara has requested the NIA to investigate this aspect of the terror incident in Udaipur.

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