Parrikar's remark on ex-PMs irks Congress

PTI, NEW DELHI | 23 January 2015 23:33 IST

In a controversial remark ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to India, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar alleged that certain former Prime Ministers had compromised the nation's security but stopped short of revealing any names.

Speaking at a release function of a Hindi weekly, Parrikar said he did not provide details about the Coast Guard operation involving a boat coming from Pakistan as the "source (of information) might be compromised".

"After all, you have to build deep assets. Deep assets are created over 20-30 years. Sadly, there were some prime ministers who compromised deep assets. I am not going to disclose names. Many people know," O Heraldo reported.

Parrikar further taunted the Congress, who has demanded that he reveal more evidence about the controversial Coast Guard operation, saying "there was demand (by Congress) for giving proof. Tomorrow, during such operation we will take along a (media) cameraman and also the Congress spokesperson."

Reacting to his remark, the Congress demanded that either the minister name the former Prime Ministers who are said to have compromised security, or else tender an apology.

"If he has made such an allegation he should prove it. If he cannot, he should tender an apology because his position as defence minister is a very responsible one," Congress's Rita Bahuguna Joshi said.

 

Former UPA minister Manish Tewari,  also demanded that Parrikar substantiate his allegations.

"This is an extremely grave charge. He has accused former PMs of compromising India's deep assets. What does he mean by deep assets? is it intelligence, strategic assets, and to accused former PMs of india's of such serious misdemeanour specially on the eve of a special dignitary's visit. He should come out with evidence or he should take back his statement and publicly apologise. You cannot tarnish the name of all former PMs with a black brush."

The BJP, though, defended their minister saying he is an extremely responsible and careful minister. "I think it is a known fact that many former congress PMs have compromised on national security. It is a known fact to the people of the country... it is a known fact."

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