PM Manmohan Singh,in a bid to calm the political storm that broke out in the wake of government reaction to the Line of Control (LoC) killings of five Indian Army men by Pakistan,met BJP leaders today.
Led by veteran leader L K Advani,they voiced their objections to Defence Minister A K Antony’s statement on the killing of Indian soldiers,terming it as a ‘goof-up’,and pressed for a clarification on the serious matter.
BJP leaders were called by the Prime Minister to discuss the Bangladesh Land Border Agreement,on which the government is seeking the support of the main opposition party.
Besides Advani,BJP President Rajnath Singh and Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley were also present at the meeting. From the government’s side,Defence Minister A K Antony attended the meeting.
During the hour-long meeting with Singh,BJP leaders raised the issue of the Defence Minister’s statement,wherein he had said that five Indian soldiers were killed by “terrorists along with some persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform”.
The BJP leaders conveyed their displeasure at Antony’s “goof up” and sought a clarification on the issue,party sources said,adding the government has promised to issue a statement in this regard.
They are understood to have asked the Prime Minister why the Defence Minister was “soft” on Pakistan and why the government was treating such a sensitive issue in a casual manner.
Reaffirming their stand taken in Parliament,the BJP leaders sought to know why there were contradictions in the Defence Minister’s and the Army’s statements.
They also sought to know the “compulsions” the government had while giving a “clean chit” to Pakistan in the killing of five Indian soldiers along the LOC,the sources said.
According to sources,they were assured that government may issue clarification on Defence Minister Antony’s statement in Parliament tomorrow.
Earlier,the Congress Party had rejected the contention that the Defence Minister had committed a goof-up with his statement
“There is no goof-up,no mistake,no contradiction. Whatever information was available with the Defence Minister,he said according to that,” Congress spokesperson P C Chacko said.
The BJP also conveyed its opposition to the Bangladesh Land Border Agreement,saying India will have to give in much more land in lieu of what it would receive.
With inputs by PTI