Congress seems to be on the backfoot after Thursday’s blasts. The blasts have landed the Congress party in deep trouble and has taken away the advantage it drew out of the Afzal Guru’s hanging. Afzal Guru’s hanging had taken away the key focus on terrorism and Congress found itself in a safe position to counter itself against BJP on being soft on the terror issue.
However, the Hyderabad blasts have come as a rude shock for the Congress and the party suddenly finds itself on the backfoot.
A political masterstroke wasted
Congress was taking the hanging of Afzal Guru as a political masterstroke that had the capability of making things easier for the party in the coming general elections in 2014. However, the untimely blasts have given the opposition an issue to raise.
The blasts in itself were uncalled for, leading to death of 15 people and injuries to scores of others. Congress finds itself in a tough spot with both the opposition BJP and the allies gunning for union home minister Mr.Sushil Kumar Shinde. Opposition parties and Congress allies are raising the issue of the party’s being soft on terror and are questioning the anti terrorism policy of the ruling combine.
Opposition BJP and the Congress allies are having their distinct interpretation of the Hyderabad’s blasts. BJP is questioning the will of the Congress to fight terror linking the blasts to the deadly in hanging of Afzal Guru. JD (U) on the other hand raised the issue of not allowing Afzals family to meet him before the execution, linking this to fueling of sentiments, thus leading to the blasts in Hyderabad. Meanwhile, the ruling combine is taking solace from the fact that the UPA in its second term has been hard on terror and has executed top terrorists by the way of hanging.
This revelation by the Congress had taken the opposition by surprise and the opposition BJP was finding it hard to counter the bold initiatives taken by the ruling party. However, the Hyderabad blasts have given the opposition an issue and strike hard at the Congress that was breathing easy after the execution of Afzal Guru.
Much confusion was created by the untimely statement of the Union Home Minister that the states were alerted about potential terror strikes, two days in advance. The failure of intelligence authorities has also reflected the unpreparedeness of Union Home Ministry that found itself in a tight spot after the Thursday’s blasts.
However, political observers point out a distinct story. As per them, the terror strikes have not always worked against Congress. At times, it has drawn the sympathy of the people towards the ruling party. The same was witnessed in 2008 when people voted in favor of Congress, even after the dreaded Mumbai attacks. The opposition despite its best efforts to raise the terrorism issue could not garner enough support to form the Government and take on the terror head on, as they claimed.
Meanwhile the Congress party is bracing itself to face the uncomfortable questions of opposition on terror issues and is promising to deal with a tough hand with those responsible for the Hyderabad blasts.
Community Article by L Thakur