BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said he does not consider Defence Minister A K Antony as ‘Pak agent and enemy of India’.
Blaming media for ‘misinterpreting’ Modi’s speech at a public meeting in Jammu on March 26, Naidu said “Modi never said Antony is a Pak agent. Media only misinterpreted Modi’s statement,” he said, adding, “we do not have any prejudice against Antony.”
He claimed that the unity and integrity of the country had been affected under the leadership of Prime minister, Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Defence Minister Antony. China had intruded into Indian territory, 16 helipads had been constructed, Arunachal Pradesh is being shown by China as part of its territory, Indian jawans had been beheaded and government had failed to act, he said.
Likening Antony to a cook who did not know cooking, Naidu said Antony had failed to take crucial decisions.
On Jaswant singh filing nomination as independent candidate from Balmer, Naidu said “it is unfortunate that in the spur of anger, he has decided to contest as an independent candidate.” Singh, a former Defence and External Affairs minister, was given all respect, and he should follow party line, he said.
Asked if BJP would persuade him to withdraw nomination, Naidu said “let us see.”
Questioned about BJP sidelining senior leaders like L K Advani, Naidu said there was no question of sidelining Advani. “He is the tallest leader of the party.” Asked about the controversy over former JD (U) MP Sabir Ali’s induction into BJP, Naidu evaded the question saying “I have not got the details.”
Referring to AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, Naidu claimed he lacked credibility. “The day he took congress support to form government in Delhi, he lost credibility.”
Kejriwal, who is contesting against Modi in Varanasi, was no match to the BJP’s Prime ministerial candidate, he said. “It is ‘NDA versus Chaos,” Naidu said adding the third front was only a ‘mirage’. “It is a tried and failed front, while the Federal Front has seven Prime Ministerial candidates.” Expressing confidence about the saffron party-led front’s prospects in the Lok Sabha polls, he said BJP would get up to 250 seats and NDA may touch 300.
“The people are tired of instability, policy paralysis, lack of leadership. The economy has collapsed, defence preparedness is not there and India has ‘very uncomfortable’ relations with neighbours,” he added.