The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government on Wednesday cornered the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government,as it launched a scathing attach on Defence Minister A K Antony over his statements on the the killing of five Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) by Pakistan.
Creating uproar inside the Parliament,the BJP demanded an apology from the Defence Minister over his statement which differed from that of the Indian Army. It went on to question if Antony was hiding the truth about the incident.
Both the Houses of Parliament witnessed multiple adjournments throughout the day,even as the Defence Minister sought to clarify his statement. He made a brief statement in that regard,saying,”When making a statement,I have to be careful and therefore I made the statement I did.”
Addressing the Rajya Sabha,the Defence Minister said,”I made statement on basis of whatever information I had. Will get back to Parliament after Army Chief’s visit to Jammu…There is no compromise regarding defence and protection of country’s integrity.”
Antony also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the issues amidst the uproar in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
The BJP,meanwhile,also reiterated its demands for stalling of proposed talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif next month.
Veteran BJP leader L K said this is no time for talks with Pakistan. He also pointed to the “discrepancy” in the statements issued by the Defence Ministry and A K Antony in Parliament.
Later,BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad alleged that the truth concerning the killing of Indian soldiers at the LoC was hidden by Union Defence Minister A K Antony. The BJP also questioned Antony’s statements saying he should have explained the decision to change his statement.
Also attacking the Defence Minister in the Lok Sabha was Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj,who pointed that while an earlier statement by the Army and the Defence Ministry blamed terrorists and Pakistan Army regulars for the attack,Antony had said those involved in the incident were terrorists and people wearing Pakistan Army uniforms.
“The Defence Minister should apologise to the country,” Swaraj said.
As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present in the House,Swaraj demanded a statement from him on the issue stating categorically that Pakistan Army was involved in the attack on the Indian post in Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
On the other hand,the youth wing of the Congress party also staged protest outside the High Commission of Pakistan in the national capital.
However,amidst the politics over the killing of the Indian soldiers along the LoC,there were reports of top military officials of Pakistan and India speaking to each other on hotline to lower tension at the border.
An official of Pakistan army said that the two Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) established a “special hotline contact this morning” to discuss the situation “arising out of the recent Indian allegations on the Loc”.
(With PTI Inputs)