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Congress distances itself from leader's tweet, BJP furious

New Delhi, April 17, 2013, DH News Service: 3:11 IST

Shakeel Ahmed said blasts will help BJP in Assembly polls

PTI File Photo
In an embarrassment to the Congress, a senior party leader suggested on Wednesday that BJP would benefit politically in the State Assembly polls if the blast that took place near its office in Bangalore was a terror attack.

"If the blast near BJP's office in Bangalore is a terror attack, it will certainly help the BJP politically on the eve of election," All India Congress Committee General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed tweeted here after the blasts.

This created a flutter in political circles with the BJP condemning Ahmed’s remarks. “Such remarks are uncalled for and should not have come from a senior Congress leader," BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said.

There should not be politics on such incidents, another BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said. The Congress, however, distanced itself from Ahmed’s remarks.

“Any terror incident is a matter of concern. We all know it is a national and international problem. It is a challenge for the country. We do not view the problem in terms of political benefit or loss,” Congress general secretary and media cell in-charge Janardhan Dwivedi said, maintaining that the country should be united in tackling the problem of terrorism.

Ahmed, however, remained unmoved and sought to justify his remarks.

"Obviously there will be sympathy for BJP and if there is sympathy for any political party, it gets benefited through votes and elections are about to take place there. I have not made any allegation against the BJP. I have just said a factual thing. Suppose if something of this sort takes place around a friend's house, then there will be sympathy for him,” the Congress leader said.

Though Ahmed accepted his party’s view that the blast should not have been linked with politics, he said “it is human nature (to be sympathetic to such incidents).”
"I am in politics for the last 28 years. I will not say anything irresponsible which is against my party line, which is against my party ethics. Their (BJP’s ) home minister (in Karnataka) has said that the blast was targeted at BJP and its leaders before the election," Ahmed said.

BJP president Rajnath Singh refused to react to the Congress leader’s remarks.
"I don't believe this has been stage-managed by somebody. Acts of terror are taking place across the country. It is a ground reality that there are several sleeper modules which are playing their roles in different places. The government is not making any effort to destroy these sleeper cells," Singh told reporters here, describing the incident as “unfortunate”.

The followers of Ahmed on twitter, however, made a scathing attack on him over his remarks. “U thoughts are the most sinister diabolical! no wonder India is in a mess,” one of the Congress leader's followers on the microblogging site tweeted, reacting to his statement.

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