Congress President Rahul Gandhi at a press conference | Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo
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New Delhi: Opposition leaders condemned the Narendra Modi government for politicising the sacrifices of the Armed forces on a day an Air Force pilot was declared missing in action after an aerial engagement with the Pakistani air force.

Leaders of 21 parties, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar met for more than three hours to discuss the developing situation with Pakistan.

They condemned the Pulwama terror attack by “Pakistan-sponsored terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed on 14th February 2019”, and lauded the action taken by the Indian Air Force.

At the end of the meeting, Rahul Gandhi read out a joint statement issued by the leaders.

“The meeting of 21 parties expressed their deep anguish over the blatant politicisation of the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces by leaders of the ruling party. National security must transcend narrow political considerations,” he said.

The statement further pointed out that the Prime Minister did not convene an-all party meeting “as per the established practice in our democracy”.


Also read: After high of air strikes, PM Modi keeps a low profile as India-Pakistan tensions escalate


Each leader apparently spoke for about 10 minutes on their concerns over national security. “Soon after our armed forces destroyed the terrorist camp, the Prime Minister, rather than taking the entire country into confidence, was busy seeking credit during a rally. This brazen politicisation is dangerous even for Modi. He might be the Prime Minister today but he’s setting a wrong precedent,” said a party leader who attended the meeting.

According to a source, the gathering decided to hold a sepratae meeting to raise the issue of common minimum programme.

“The only issue we focused on was national securities. All the political party leaders expressed their concern over the situation and pointed out that this blatant politicisation is dangerous even for PM Modi,” said a source.

The leaders also discussed the ministry of external affairs (MEA)’s statement, and Pakistan’s actions in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Post the statement from the MEA regarding targeting of our military installations and loss of one fighter aircraft, the leaders condemned the Pakistani misadventure and expressed their deep concern for the safety of our missing pilot. Leaders urged the government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India’s sovereignty, unity and integrity,” said a leader at the meeting.

The Congress also took exception to the BJP attempting to gain mileage on the issue, criticising Home Minister Rajnath Singh for attending a party programme.

“While we have postponed and cancelled our rallies, home minister Rajnath Singh was busy attending a BJP programme on election preparation in Chhattisgarh. Even the Prime Minister rather than taking the nation in confidence was busy launching an app for promoting health and fitness,” said a Congress leader.

Senior Congress leader Surjewala said that his party also decided to postpone the Congress Working Commitee (CWC) scheduled for Thursday and the rally that was to take place in Adalaj on the directions of Gandhi.


Also read: 5 ways Modi’s Pakistan air strike ‘bombed’ opposition’s election strategy


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5 Comments Share Your Views

5 COMMENTS

  1. It is obvious that opposition parties are now fearful of the voters’ support to BJP. Hence they are talking about politicizing the surgical bombing on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Just as Pakistan was surprised by surgical bombings, our opposition leaders particularly the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and former PM Man Mohan Singh were surprised as nothing of this sort has happened when Man Mohan Singh was PM.

  2. This photograph has symbolic value. Shri Sharad Pawar, CM Mamata Banerjee, CM CBN, in his own way, Comrade Sitaram Yechury, are among the seniormost political leaders in the country today. Not lacking in personal ambition. The fact that they have coalesced and allowed the Congress President to sum up on their behalf suggests post poll negotiations will not be insurmountable. The Congress needs to be more magnanimous.

  3. This PM believes that the daily work must go on. That is why he is attended all regular events, even after staying up the whole night. The opposition leaders, most of whom are unemployed and in some cases, unemployable are making noise so that they can remain in the public eye. Shame on them.

    • “This PM believes that the daily work must go on”
      Yes. Tthat is why he continued with film shooting when the Jawans were being butchered
      .

  4. Issues of war and peace getting intertwined with politics, especially on the eve of a general election, is uncharted territory. Unclear how it will be perceived by average citizens. Even the armed forces might find themselves getting drawn into discussions they normally stay miles away from.

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