BJP chief Nadda hits out at Congress over taking on Naxalites

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Chennai, Apr 4 (PTI) BJP chief J P Nadda on Sunday hit out at the Congress party over Naxalism saying there have been 'questions' of it taking a soft line with Naxalites.

Condemning the killing of jawans in Chhattisgarh by Naxals and condoling their deaths, the top Saffron party leader asserted that the Centre would stand by the families of the soldiers.

Addressing a press conference here, Nadda said his party always followed a policy of 'zero tolerance' towards Naxalism and this stand has been the BJP's 'forte.' He was answering a question on Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala's criticism that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were too busy electioneering to take on the menace of Naxalism.

Nadda alleged, 'but I would also like to say, that there have been questions of being soft to the Naxalites by the Congress party...' He asserted that support from the Central government 'is always there.' Bodies of 17 of the 18 jawans 'missing' after the encounter in Chhattishgarh were recovered on Sunday, taking the death toll to 22.

Shah said in Guwahati that a befitting reply would be given to the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh at an appropriate time.

Asked about the allegations by DMK-Congress leaders that some BJP candidates did not even use the pictures of Modi and Shah in their campaign trail, he said, 'we do not decide politics over two photos less or two photos more.' The allegation is that BJP nominees rather highlighted AIADMK icons like 'Amma (late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa).' Nadda accused the Congress party of being 'divisive' while his party was all about cohesion adding the photographs of both Modi and Shah were featured everywhere in Tamil Nadu.

The BJP respected regional sentiments and regional leadership as well, he said.

To a question on All India Institute of Medical Sciences project at Madurai, he said there were some issues including those related to the designing of the building, land and soil testing and due to such aspects, the project got delayed. The work for the facility would start very soon, he said.

When his attention was drawn to DMK claiming in its campaign that Citizenship Amendment Act would not be implemented in Tamil Nadu and on that party raising the matter of a law against the triple talaq, he said a Central legislation cannot be bypassed by state legislation or by state government. 'This speaks volumes about their wisdom.' On triple talaq, he said even Muslim nations do not allow it and Muslim women appreciated and supported the law to ban that practice.

He expressed confidence that under AIADMK's leadership, BJP and other allies were progressing towards success in TN.

The people of West Bengal have clearly decided to reject 'corruption, autocracy and criminalisation' of administration of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and people supported his party, he claimed.

The Trinamool Congress has 'lost mental balance,' and the way Mamata Banerjee is doing politics is not Bengal's culture, he said.

The Prime Minister always gave due respect to her and addressed her respectfully, he said.

In Assam, his party led government has done good work and stood for development, peace and protection of culture.

He expressed confidence that his party and its allies would emerge victorious in the polls to four states including Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry.PTI VGN SA SS PTI PTI