The Shiv Sena on Monday criticised the UPA’s Vice Presidential candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi, saying the party could not think of supporting someone who had sought mercy for a convicted terrorist like Yakub Memon. The party also criticised Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who, on Sunday, had said the country could not be held hostage to those “who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision”.
“I want to ask Sonia Gandhi as to what she means by divisive ideology. On what basis have you decided to field Gopal Krishna Gandhi as a Vice Presidential candidate. There is no chance of the Sena supporting someone who opposed the hanging of a terrorist like Yakub Memon,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said.
Memon was the lone convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case who was sent to the gallows. “Gandhi had played a pivotal role in trying to stop Memon’s hanging. He had written a letter to the President, seeking mercy for Memon. You have nominated such a man as the Vice Presidential candidate. Is this in national interest?” Raut said.
For the Vice Presidential elections, the Sena has made it clear which side it supports. Interestingly, the Sena had made up its mind even before the NDA had finalised its candidate.