New Delhi: With the UPA government's image coming under scanner over Home Minister Shivraj Patil's handling of internal security, Congress delivered a blunt message to him to act fast on acts of terror in the country.
"The Home Minister is wise enough to understand the seriousness of the issue and take appropriate action," party General Secretary Digvijay Singh said when asked for an advice for the leader.
This came a day after party President Sonia Gandhi convened a meeting on internal security in which Patil was conspicuous by his absence.
Even in the Congress Working Committee meeting held last week, Patil was the only important minister who did not speak.
Singh said the party is seriously concerned over the acts of terror and would like the central government to take tough measures on the issue.
To a specific question whether Patil should be replaced, he said "I would not comment on this".
Digvijay Singh also said accountability for the blasts and its handling has to start from Police Commissioner upwards. Law and order in Delhi falls under the jurisdiction of the Union Home Ministry, he said "
The remarks of the AICC General Secretary come on the eve of a special meeting of the Union Cabinet apparently to discuss the spate of terror attacks in the country in the wake of the serial blasts on Saturday.
The meeting is being held close on the heels of the Administrative Reforms Commission suggesting that existing laws were not enough to deal with terrorism and recommended a comprehensive anti-terrorist legislation. This is in sharp contrast to the Centre's stand.
Replying to a question, Digvijay Singh also justified the Congress led coalition's decision to repeal POTA soon after coming to power.
"The existing laws are enough to tackle acts of terror," he said, adding, "We have lost two Prime Ministers due to acts of terror -- Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. How can we be accused of being soft on terror. We have always fought terror head on and had never buckled," he said, accusing the BJP of buckling under terrorism as seen in the Kandahar hijacking.
Attacking the BJP, which has been critical of the government on tackling terrorism, Singh said the Congress has fought terrorism in the north east, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. "Where was the BJP," he asked.
He also demanded a ban on Bajrang Dal like the proscription of SIMI.