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What PM says about Afzal Guru

Last updated on: May 11, 2009 17:19 IST
Rejecting the Bharatiya Janata Party's charge of a delay in hanging Afzal Guru, who was convicted for involvement in the December 13, 2001 attack on Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said a certain procedure has to be followed.

"There is a set procedure. That procedure has to be completed," he said at a press conference in Ludhiana at the end of the countrywide campaign for the Lok Sabha election.

"How long the procedure would take, it is not for me to say," Dr Singh said. The prime minister said the law of the land will have to be allowed to function.

To another question, he said, "Terrorism is a menace that must be dealt with firmly." He, however, said while doing so, no community should be targeted.

Asked about United Progressive Alliance allies like the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Lok Janshakti Party and the Samajwadi Party expressing disenchantment with the Congress, Dr Singh said, "I have no doubt that the UPA will form the government. Politics is the art of the possible. Those who are unhappy can be mollified."

To a question, he said "some kind of government" will have to be formed after the results come out as there was no provision for President's Rule at the Centre. "But what kind of government will be formed, we have to be patient till May 16," he said.

The prime minister ruled out support to the Left to form a government, saying the Left or the Third Front, of which it is a part of, will not get more seats than the Congress. "The question does not arise."

On whether he saw the National Democratic Alliance's rally in Ludhiana on Sunday as a show of strength, he said it would be wrong to suggest that there is no "split" in the BJP-led alliance as "two big parties" like the Biju Janata Dal and the Telugu Desam Party were not with thwe NDA any more.

"More disunity will be visible after the results come out," Dr Singh said. To a question on changing the UPA's prime ministerial candidate, he said the Congress had already declared who the candidate would be and there was "no wavering of its commitment" on that count.

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