New Delhi, Oct 29 (ANI): Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Tuesday attempted to downplay the fresh controversy over External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid defending Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's presence at a Bollywood event hours after the Patna blasts, saying the Congress-led UPA Government has always maintained a policy of zero tolerance.
"On the question of terror, the UPA Government has always maintained a policy of zero tolerance. We believe that any terrorist act wherever it may be committed is something reprehensible and those who are responsible should be tracked down to the last corner of the earth and brought to justice. And in this endeavour, we allow agencies which we have brought up to professional speed over the last ten years to do their work without fear or favour," Tewari told media here.
"So, let there be absolutely no misconception on the question of terror, on the question of combating terror, on the question of dealing with radicalization on the issue of ensuring that polarization does not vitiate the atmosphere of this country," he added.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirti Azad earlier in the day took a jibe at Khurshid for defending Shinde, and said UPA ministers are least interested in internal security and give prominence to scams that are taking place.
"What else do you expect from Salman Khurshid who loves Chinese food, who wants to live in China? Why should he be interested in what is happening as far as internal security is concerned? He is happy where the Home Minister does 'nach gaana' and he likes China," said Azad.
"So, don't expect from this government, don't expect from its ministers, because for them what is more important is the coal scam, what is more important is the 2G scam, what is more important is the CWG scam, earn as much as you can, because, you are going to be out of power anyway," he added.
Azad also criticized the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar Government for not taking firm steps despite having proper intelligence information prior to Sunday's blasts.
"I think this shows how officials are really tackling the issue as far as Bihar is concerned. And, it shows how ignorant the chief minister is, that he was not even given the letter that came from IB on the 23rd of October regarding the blast that took place," said Azad.
"There were no metal detectors, there was no bomb disposal squad and all you had were officials sitting there," he added.
Khurshid had earlier on Monday voiced his support for Shinde, saying he had a life beyond Patna.
"What happened in Patna was obviously sad. Lives are lost because somebody is playing an awful kind of politics," he told media in New Delhi.
On Sunday morning, several low-intensity blasts ripped through Patna just before BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a massive rally. Most of those explosions were in and around Gandhi Maidan, the rally venue.
Shinde, who has charge of the country's law and order, spent nearly an hour that evening at the music launch of Bollywood film 'Rajjo' posing for photographs with the actors.
The low intensity blasts rocked Patna between 9.30 a.m. and 12.45 p.m. on Sunday shortly before Modi's address to a 'Hunkar rally' in Gandhi Maidan. (ANI)