15 Feb ;L K Advani answers, Byebyecongress, during the six years the NDA was in office, the security agencies, including the IB, used to carry on a continuous campaign locating the terrorist module set up by the ISI in the country and smashing them. Most of our advance information about impending terrorist attacks used to be gathered from these raids.
There were terrorist attacks, nevertheless, during those years, the more prominent being the attack on Parliament, the attack on Akshardham. In both cases, the terrorists were eliminated and those who plotted the conspiracies apprehended, and punished by courts of law. It is sad that the mastermind behind the attack on Indian Parliament who has been sentenced to death by the trial court, the appellate court and even the Supreme Court, has not been punished despite the lapse of so many years.
I am pointing this out only to emphasise that terrorism can be fought only if both government as well as society have an attitude of zero tolerance towards this scourge. At this point I may even emphasise that for the Al Qaeda fundamentalists and outfits that Al Qaeda has created the world over, the most hated enemy is the United States. Why is it that after 9/11, there has not been even a small incident there? I believe that both the government as well as society there have an attitude of zero tolerance.
The world over, it has been recognised that the ordinary laws created against crime are inadequate to confront this new menace that is terrorism and so the UN Security Council advised all countries of the world to enact special laws for this. I cannot forget that when the NDA government moved the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, we were able to pass it in the Lok Sabha but the Congress party and its allies who are today in the UPA had a majority in the Rajya Sabha and they defeated it. A provision of the Indian Constitution rarely used had to be invoked, a joint session of Parliament convened and POTA passed.
Not only that, but one of the major planks projected by the Congress in the 2004 elections was the promise that if they came to power, the law against terrorism would be scrapped. Only in 2008, almost at the end of its tenure and that too after the horrendous Mumbai incidents, did the Congress party make a total U-turn and said that terrorism cannot be fought by the ordinary laws, special laws are needed, one of them being a special Central agency and the other being an amendment of the Unlawful Activities Act. For five years their adamant stand was that the present laws are adequate.
I feel that even the laws now passed do not fully meet the situation. I pointed this out and they said that we will once again reconsider it when Parliament meets in February. On the whole there is no clarity, no consistency, and no real resolve to overcome terrorism.
RNV Jain asked, People Expect very much frm BJP & U . But It seems the party is not different then others how do u defend it?
L K Advani says, RNV Jain, your expectation is very right, and you have only to contrast the functioning of the NDA government with that of the UPA government, the functioning of several state governments of ours like those of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Orissa etc with the few Congress-led governments in the country today, and you will see how we have tried to make not only our party but even the governments run by our party different from those of the Congress.
Today, one of the major problems before the people has been power. And you have power-cuts in most of the states in the country, and yet the BJP-run states like Gujarat have not only moved rapidly towards eliminating all power-cuts but in Gujarat have guaranteed that every single village is provided electricity round the clock. Numerous developmental schemes and public welfare schemes have been implemented successfully in the NDA-run states, with the result that many foreign investors have been flockin to these states.
Hemanand asked, Dear Sir, How you see India becoming a coruption free nation in near future ? What’s your vision in this regard?
L K Advani says, Hemanand, I feel very sad when reports of the Transparency International I find India at a very low point. And therefore it gave me great satisfaction that the NDA government under Vajpayee functioned for six years in a transparently honest manner and there were no allegations made against the government. Then again, what has been achieved in Gujarat under the leadership of Narendra Modi has made this state a model for all others in the country as a corruption-free state.
I believe that this would be one of the principal objectives a new NDA government at the Centre would have in mind. The example of people at the helm of affairs, the necessary systemic changes that have to be made, and the setting up of the Lok Pal and Lok Ayukt would be steps taken very early during an NDA regime.