Nitish govt soft on terror,got intel alerts: Arun Jaitley

Jaitley asked the Centre to review the security of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 29, 2013 3:07 am

Countering Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s claims that there were no intelligence inputs ahead of the serial blasts in Patna,Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Monday accused the Bihar government of being “soft on terror” due to “vote bank politics” amid “radicalisation” in the state.

Jaitley also asked the Centre to review the security of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. “This is an attack on Modi and other senior BJP leaders. It was intended to intimidate our party which has vowed… to fight these tendencies. The Ministry of Home Affairs… should seriously review his security and ensure that no such incident is repeated,” said Jaitley,demanding a high-level probe into the security “lapses” in Patna.

“We have also asked for a rethink on the security drill,not just for leaders of our party but for all. We have sought that the mandatory drill for rallies be redefined,” said Jaitley,who also addressed the rally in Patna on Sunday.

“India cannot afford to be either soft on terror or soft on security. A policy against terror and the need for security cannot be relatable to the policy of the vote bank politics of a given government. It should not appear that being soft on terror also leads to being soft on security,” said Jaitley,alleging that Nitish Kumar’s “vote bank politics” had cast a shadow on the security preparations.

“A specific alert was sent to the Bihar police by the Intelligence Bureau on October 23 with regard to the rally… This alert was specific enough to mention that the IM modules could organise strikes during Modi’s Patna visit. A reference to the arrest of (Yasin) Bhatkal,information emanating from another source was also mentioned,” he claimed.

“The attack,coming in this backdrop,clearly establishes the extent of radicalisation which took place in the state,” he said.

“There have been reports in the media that when the central intelligence and security agencies intercepted and arrested Yasin Bhatkal,the Bihar police,for obvious political reasons,(showed) reluctance to receive his custody,” said Jaitley. Stating that this may have led to “disappearance (of some Bhatkal associates) from the net of the investigators”,he asked if the blasts were “planned by some of those who had disappeared?”

Alleging security lapses,Jaitley said the crowd was not frisked,the entry points not regulated,and the rally ground not sanitised for anti-sabotage check.

“Security lapse was there,there cannot be any doubt about that,” said BJP president Rajnath Singh. Nitish spoke to Rajnath and Jaitley late on Saturday night and briefed them about the investigations.

In Patna,BJP legislature party leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said,“Security lapses look more deliberate than coincidental. It was Modi who was the target,not the crowd.”

BJP Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav said the party had so little confidence in the state police that it had to engage private guards. “The state government gave only five policemen for security of the area near the manch from October 25-27,” he alleged. He said the party had to depend on the private guards for crowd management after the blasts.

Patna SSP Manu Maharaj,meanwhile,said: “Those arrested have not spoken a word about targeting Narendra Modi”.

— With ENS,Patna

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