Keeping up the heat on the Congress over Sam Pitroda’s remarks on Balakot airstrikes, BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday accused the opposition party of playing “appeasement politics” and asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi apologise to the people and the armed forces.
He accused the Congress of having “insulted” those killed in the Pulwama terror attack. Shah also maintained that only the BJP can ensure the country’s security.
“Does the Congress believe that terror incidents in the country have nothing to do with the Pakistan government or the Pakistan army,” Shah asked.
While the Congress has distanced itself from Pitroda’s remark, calling it his personal views, Shah asked, “What is a personal view in politics?”
In remarks to news agency ANI on Friday, Pitroda, a technocrat-turned-politician who is the Congress’s overseas wing chief, had sought more information about the death count in the Balakot airstrikes. Stating that he admires India’s security forces and that “they did a super job”, he had said: “If they killed 300, it is okay. All I am saying is, can you give me more facts and prove it? That’s all. I am not debating anything. I am not even questioning anything. I want data because I am trained to believe in data.”
Shah, however, maintained that Pitroda had questioned the surgical strikes and the airstrikes.
He accused the Congress of carrying out “vote bank” and “appeasement” politics during the elections, and asked whether such politics can be above national interest and the “blood of martyrs”. Drawing a comparison between the UPA government’s “no strong action” against terrorism after the Mumbai terror attack of 2008 and the Narendra Modi government’s “zero tolerance” against terror after the Pulwama attack, he asserted that only the saffron party is capable of securing India. He said, “I want to reassure the people that only the BJP can provide security to the country, give a befitting response to terrorism, and foil Pakistan’s conspiracy.”
Shah also said that many terror attacks were carried out when the UPA was in power. and asked, “If terror attacks shouldn’t be responded with surgical strikes and airstrikes, then is it the Congress’s policy to deal with terrorism with talks? You opted for talks, but what was the result?”
The “Sonia-Manmohan” government, he claimed, was in power for 10 years but there was no tough action against terrorism because the Congress “lacked courage”.