Mumbai Serial blast
A policeman kept guard in the rain at the site of an explosion near the Opera House in Mumbai Reuters

India’s conservative, nationalistic Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has urged the government to probe possible Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai bombings which have killed at least 21 people and injured more than 100.

BJP officials also demanded that the state take a more determined approach against terrorism and adopt a zero-tolerance policy on terror.

L.K. Advani, the senior leader of BJP, said the attacks in Mumbai reflected a policy failure by the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.

Visiting the damaged areas around Mumbai, Advani told reporters: Mumbai has become a favorite target of terrorists -whether they are from neighboring countries or from here.

Home Minister P Chidambaram (a member of the ruling Congress party) defended the government’s actions by saying that the terrorist attack did not represent an intelligence failure.

While Advani claims that a group called India Mujahedeen might be responsible for the terrorist attack, the Home Minister responded that it is too early to speculate on who the culprits were.

Advani stated: Even if Indian Mujahedeen caused these new blasts, they [still] get their support from Pakistan. As far as India is concerned, the government must shed its ambivalence towards terrorism. It must be categorical in declaring that total policy of India towards terrorism hereafter shall be of zero-tolerance. We will not tolerate anything which seems to promote or condone or compromise or disregard any terrorist activity. This should be a basic premise of our relationship with [Pakistan] - that it will have to dismantle the infrastructure that it has created for terror.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar called the blasts a deliberate attack on Mumbai which has been targeted by anti-Indian forces.”

He added: We need to investigate if there are any links to Pakistan and we need to send a strong signal against terror. A big machinery had been put in place [by the government] after the [2008] attacks but it seems to be clueless on what is going on. A strong political will and determination is needed to fight terror.”

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi (who is also a prominent BJP member) warned that the “attack seems like a rehearsal for an even bigger terrorist act in the near future. The terrorist act has thrown a challenge to the humanitarian powers. It looks as if the wicked people involved behind this barbaric act want to prove that the present government of India is ineffective on them and that they are capable enough to flay this country.