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BJP raises pitch on terrorism at Jammu rallies

National,Politics, Fri, 12 Dec 2008 IANS

Jammu, Dec 12 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have changed its poll plank for the ongoing assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir from development and providing basic amenities to fighting terrorism after the attacks in Mumbai.


Right from top national leaders like party president Rajnath Singh and general secretary Arun Jaitley to the candidates, the common theme after the Nov 26 terror strikes is that only the BJP can give a befitting answer to terrorism.



At rallies in Jammu district, the party is playing on the fears of cross-border terrorism, recounting the pre-2003 ceasefire days when militants struck in the Jammu region, targeting minorities like the Hindus and Sikhs.



'The Mumbai terror attacks have brought back a scenario of the old days of terror,' Rajnath Singh told a rally in Ghagwal, about 50 km south of Jammu, in Kathua district where five constituencies go to polls in the fifth phase Saturday.



'You need a strong party to make you secure,' he said and pointed towards the border with Pakistan, hardly 10 km from his rally site Thursday. 'And only BJP can do that,' Singh added.



Party candidates too have now started raising the issue of terrorism resurfacing - whether it Master Lal Chand in Bani or Govind Ram in Akhnoor.



'We have suffered terrorism in the past and now after the terror attacks in Mumbai, a greater threat has emerged because the government at the centre is weak,' Govind Ram said at one of his rallies Thursday.



Ram's constituency goes to polls in the seventh phase Dec 24. Akhnoor is a border area that has witnessed several terrorist attacks in the past.



Former director general of police Manmohan Khajuria, who is a terrorism expert, said that terrorism had never disappeared, but the Mumbai terror attacks were being used to whip up fear among people and project their strengths against the weaknesses of others to garner votes.



'It is good to educate the people but politicisation of terrorism may not serve the purpose. It may complicate the problem,' Khajuria said on a regional television channel Thursday evening.



Terrorism was an election plank for the BJP in the assembly elections. The BJP retained Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh but lost Rajasthan. The party was also hoping for a win in Delhi, where the Congress returned triumphant for a third successive term.


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