Congress compromised on national security, must declassify report: BJP

In a battle of sorts over a war, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party traded charges on Tuesday after the release of a classified report on the Sino-Indian War by an Australian journalist, as exclusively reported by The Hindu on Tuesday.

While the BJP attacked the Congress saying it had compromised national security and demanded that the report be made public, the Congress accused the BJP of trying to play “cheap politics” on the eve of the Lok Sabha elections.

The main Opposition party questioned the UPA government’s reluctance, even after so many years, to declassify the secret report, which reportedly blamed the Nehru government.

Journalist Neville Maxwell, quoting from the Henderson Brooks report, said it blamed Nehru’s “Forward Policy” for the 1962 debacle.

Reacting to the BJP criticism, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said: “I don’t think such cheap allegations deserve a response. Everybody knows that what happened in 1962 was a product of a complex multitude of diverse factors.”

Those who say that “a unilateral factor” had caused the debacle are trying to “miniaturise” things that were very complex, he said. If the BJP wanted to politicise the 1962 war with China, “much more” politics could be played over the Kargil War which took place during NDA rule, the Congress leader said. “But I am not going to do it because on such matters the nation stands together.”

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar claimed the report had shown the Congress’s approach towards national security and defence preparedness.

“The government then was of the Congress led by Jawaharlal Nehru. Today, it is the Congress government led by Manmohan Singh. Both governments are guilty of not giving enough attention to the very important issue of national security,” Mr. Javadekar said.

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