Timing of hanging raises debate

Hanging of Ajmal Kasab comes at a time, when the government is all set to face a united Opposition against price rise, corruption and FDI in retail.

Despite the brave face being put up by the UPAII, the government is worried about voting on the FDI retail issue and closely monitoring the Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s move to bring in a no-trust move.

The hanging of the 26/11 terrorist could possibly work as a major boost for the government, which was also targeted for being soft on terrorism. “The timing of the hanging has raised some questions and was being viewed as “an attempt to deflect attention from the contentious issues,” sources in Congress said.

However, the information and broadcasting minister, Manish Tewari denied that the government had on purpose timed Kasab’s hanging on the eve of winter session of Parliament. “To look at timing of the hanging is not right. The message being sent is that if India and its citizens are attacked, appropriate action will be taken,“ Tewari said.

However, following the execution of Kasab, the government would now come under pressure to move swiftly against Afzal Guru, a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist convicted over the December 21, 2001 attack on Parliament. He was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004.

The government is now expected to come under attack from the Opposition for not being able to act against its home-bred terrorists following “vote bank politics.”

Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, has already set the tone by tweeting on Wednesday: “What about Afzal Guru, who attacked Parliament, our temple of democracy? That offence predates Kasab's heinous act by many years."

BJP toed the expected line. While welcoming Kasab's hanging, the BJP spokesman, Prakash Javdekar asked: “Why not Afzal Guru..The government has been saying that Afzal Guru is in the queue and a decision on his fate would be taken soon.“

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