Karnataka election 2018: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to use the 2007 Mecca Masjid Blast verdict as one of its key poll issues to paint the ruling Congress “anti-Hindu”, The Indian Express reported today senior saffron party leaders as saying. Not just in Karnataka, the BJP will use the verdict to take on the Congress in Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan that will go to polls later this year.
Party sources told IE that the BJP leaders would ensure that terms like “saffron terror” and “Hindu terror”, used during the previous UPA regime, would come back to haunt the Congress in the upcoming elections.
An NIA court in Hyderabad acquitted accused Swami Aseemanand in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case on Monday, prompting the BJP to seek an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi. The BJP accuses the Congress of coining words like “saffron terror” and “Hindu terror” during the previous UPA regime.
The Congress president, who was in his Lok Sabha constituency Amethi on Monday, however, refused to comment on the verdict pronounced by the Hyderabad court.
On its part, the BJP has continued to mount the attack on the Congress. Soon after Aseemanand was acquitted, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra called a press conference to slam the Congress, saying the Grand Old Party has always tried to “defame” the Hindus for votes. He also demanded an apology from Rahul and Sonia Gandhi should apologise.
Patra said, “the appeasement politics” of the Congress has been “exposed” by the verdict.
““If Congress considers India to be its own, then Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi must apologise to the whole country for defaming the great Hindu religion by trying to prove that there was something called ‘saffron terror’,” Patra said.
The Congress, however, said party and president Rahul Gandhi never used the word “saffron terror”
Senior Congress leader PL Punia was quoted as saying by IE: “Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party has never used the words saffron terror.. It is mere rubbish. There is nothing called saffron terror. It is our clear belief that terror cannot be linked to any religion or any community or caste.”
Karnataka will go to polls on May 12. Counting will be held on May 15.