New Delhi: On Monday the BJP and the government launched a sharp attack on Congress over the Ishrat Jahan case, accusing it of having wanted "elimination" of Narendra Modi, a theory on which Congress President Sonia Gandhi "worked actively".
Citing a media report which claimed that the then Home Minister P Chidambaram had signed the first affidavit in the encounter case, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Congress, especially Gandhi and her son Rahul, should take responsibility because Chidambaram did so as the party found it not strong enough to fight Modi politically.
"You underplayed a terror plot that could eliminate (Modi). You are clearly admitting that you cannot fight this politically. So eliminate or allow to eliminate or encourage elimination of the leader who you are mortified of fighting politically.
"...we (Congress) do everything possible in our hand to make sure that we make it appear that he is against some section, projected as if there is no terror threat against him," she told a press conference at the BJP office.
The debate, she said, cannot be confined to Chidambaram.
"Sonia Gandhi worked actively on this theory. That is why she went to town saying an encounter has happened as though there was no intelligence information stating that there was terror plot," she said.
Sitharaman added, "They wanted to quietly watch the terror plot bloom to eliminate a political opponent....a very serious fallout is the way this country's intelligence and counter intelligence have been weakened."
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju also hit out at Congress and Chidambaram, saying he could not have acted on his own to do such an "anti-national act".
"There have been some political pressure from higher ups of the Congress that such an action was taken," he told the media.
Chidambaram, he alleged, has been caught red-handed and now he cannot escape. It is not Chidambaram but the entire Congress leadership which should take the responsibility, he said.