BJP says better late than never

With the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru taking one issue away from BJP's arsenal against the ruling Congress, the saffron camp on Saturday sought to give credit to public pressure for this "delayed" action.

"In the case of Afzal Guru, all judicial authorities affirmed his guilt and upheld the death sentence. His clemency petition was rejected by the President. For reasons which the government has been unable to explain, the execution was delayed. But finally the law has taken its own course. Public opinion has compelled the government to act and enforce the law. Though belated, justice has been done," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Der aaye, durust aaye (Better late than never)." Similar sentiments were expressed by other BJP leaders. "It is a right step taken belatedly by the government," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

Welcoming the execution, the RSS said this action has been delayed because of partisan politics. RSS publicity chief Manmohan Vaidya said that "in future, all Indians should avoid partisan politics and close ranks to fight terrorism". RSS leader Ram Madhav tweeted, "Let the protesters in the Valley be dealt with firmly. I am sure majority of the Valley people... oppose terror and Hurriyat."

Leaders in the saffron camp admitted the Congress has scored one over them. "There is no doubt, it has taken one issue away from us. We can no longer pin the Congress down on this issue," confided a senior BJP leader.

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