BJP's political chicanery 21 Nov 2008, 0114 hrs IST, ET Bureau BJP's political chicanery - Editorial-Opinion-The Economic Times The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, L K Advani, has touched a new low in the party’s cynical defence of the accused in the Malegaon blast probe . By seeking to malign the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), accusing it of “acting in a politically motivated and unprofessional manner”, Advani has gone beyond using the investigation as a peg for blatant vote-bank politics For a probable future prime minister to question the integrity of an investigative agency raises disturbing questions on the safety of critical national institutions under a BJP regime. The BJP’s strategy of going on the offensive over the unearthing of links between fanatical groups and the Sangh Parivar is by itself a desperate, and deeply divisive, measure. It completely exposes the party’s stated ‘hard on terror of all kinds’ position as being a mere euphemism for an ideologically driven anti-minority bias. The main opposition party’s attempts to cast doubts on the investigation itself is blatant interference in a critical process. For a party that proclaims law and order and national security to be its primary concerns, outright support for individuals and groups accused of terrorist acts is political chicanery at its worst. Not least because the ATS has conducted investigations into previous terrorist plots, which were then hailed as effective and unbiased probes. This is no more a case of the BJP being in denial, but rather a venomous discourse of attempting to justify ‘patriotic terrorists’. The implications of a mainstream party putting out this insidious logic are, to say the least, a perfect recipe for further communal polarisation and violence. The Malegaon blast probe has, so far, demonstrated that terrorism simply isn’t confined to a single community and that there needs to be a rethink on the extant national anti-terrorism paradigm. It has also shown that given an increasingly assertive majoritarian consensus, not even secular institutions like the army can remain impervious to communal discourse. Instead of comprehending the gravity of the situation, the BJP is simply giving up all pretence of occupying political space as a centre-right party. This congealing of a core Hindutva agenda can only perpetuate the destructive cycles of terror and counter-terror.