Political oneupmanship took centrestage yet again, hours after the nation woke up to the news of Afzal Guru’s hanging.
Taking a pot shot at the UPA government, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, Afzal Guru’s hanging had been delayed as the government has been unable to explain matters in court.
“Finally the law took its own course. Public opinion compelled the government to act and enforce the law,” Jaitley said.
Recalling the attack on the Parliament on December 13, 2001, he said security officials and police personnel had sacrificed their lives to protect the Parliament and those trapped inside
“India must today, speak in one voice and give a clear message to the world that we are not a soft state and those who attack India, its sovereignty and its institutions, will be held accountable. Though belated, justice has been done,”Jaitley added.
Referring to Afzal Guru’s case, Jaitley said all judicial authorities had affirmed his guilt and upheld the death sentence. “His clemency petition had been rejected by the President,” he said.
BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu also asked why the government “inordinately delayed” Afzal Guru’s execution, but welcomed his hanging.
“Perhaps the government is acting now against death-row convicts as it tries to come out of policy paralysis. Whatever the intention, the government has to explain the inordinate delay in the execution,” he said.
Fellow Opposition leaders too didn’t want to be left behind in the war of quotes. Sounding agitated, BJP leader, Ravi Shankar Prasad asked, “This decision could have been taken much earlier. Why was there so much delay in taking this decision is a serious question.”