Swaraj finds NIC meet casual


New Delhi : Terming Monday’s National Integration Council (NIC) meeting as casual, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj criticised the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for equating extremism with terrorism.

Support TwoCircles

“The meeting was held with a very casual approach. The positions of the leaders of opposition of Lok Sabha and of Rajya Sabha are not just positions but institutions,” Swaraj told reporters in a press conference here.

“However, Lok Sabha opposition leader L.K. Advani and Rajya Sabha opposition leader Jaswant Singh were not given proper consideration at the NIC meeting. While Advani was among the eminent persons invited for the meeting, Jaswant Singh was not even invited,” she said.

Swaraj also criticised the NIC agenda. “Three days ago, the agenda for the meeting came and the important issue of terrorism was not included in it though the meeting was held after three and a half years,” she added.

She said the government should not try to equate extremism with terrorism. “Extremism could arise due to economic and political issues. But terrorism is beyond extremism,” she added.

“If someone from Pakistan is invited for the meeting he will not be interested in discussing the issue of extremism, he will only be interested in the issue of terrorism that is affecting both countries,” Swaraj noted.

She said three eminent personalities, former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, veteran communist leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet and Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande passed away during the last three and a half years but there was no condolence resolution for them.

She further said that the government was adopting double standards on the issue of the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) ban while NSA M.K. Narayanan had said there was no need of any enquiry into last month’s shootout at Jamia Nagar here.

“Two ministers argued in the union council of ministers meeting that the ban issued on SIMI should be withdrawn. This indicates the government’s double standard on SIMI and terrorism,” she added.

“This government has neither the will nor the intention to fight terrorism. The government is adopting a traditional approach to dealing with the terrorism,” she said.

She clarified: “Advani is not staying away from the meeting but he is not attending as going to Kerala to attend BJP’s Vijay Sankalp rally.”