Defence Minister A K Antony on Saturday hit back at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, saying his recent “A K-47” comment was against national interest.
Addressing the media here, Antony said Modi’s comment would indirectly help the enemy country. “No true nationalist can make such a comment. It would demoralise the security forces of the country. Political leaders should not make such observations for cheap popularity,’’ said Antony.
Attacking Antony over his statement made in Parliament last year when Pakistani army men had intruded into Mendhar sector in Jammu and Kashmir and killed two Indian soldiers, Modi had told a poll rally in Jammu that three AKs – A K 47, A K Antony and AK 49 (Arvind Kejriwal), had emerged as Pakistan commanders on the Indian side.
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“One is AK-47 which has been used to cause bloodshed in Kashmir. The second is A K Antony, who informs the Parliament that people who beheaded Indian soldiers were wearing the Pakistan army dress, while our army said Pakistanis had come,” said Modi.
“And, the third AK is AK-49 who has just given birth to a new party” – a reference to Kejriwal’s 49-day stint in Delhi.
While initially Antony refused to comment on Modi’s remarks, when probed by journalists he said, ” Is it justified when a leader touted as the next prime minister of the country makes such a comment?”
Antony rejected the criticism that defence preparedness had slackened since he took over the ministry and said modernisation of forces and procurement of equipment had continued. This included induction of maximum number of platforms in the Navy and new weapons for the Army for which funds had been a constraint.