Says Modi never said Antony, Kejriwal were Pakistan’s agents

Three days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi accused Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal of being agents of Pakistan, senior BJP leader and party’s former national president M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Saturday that he never considered Mr. Antony a ‘Pakistan agent and enemy of India.’

Mr. Naidu refused to apply the charge to Mr. Kejriwal too. “I feel Mr. Kejriwal lacks any credibility because of his acceptance of Congress support for becoming the Chief Minister of Delhi for a while,” he said.

Mr. Naidu, who is in Kerala to campaign for party candidates, was interacting with presspersons.

He blamed the media for “misinterpreting” Mr. Modi’s speech at a public meeting in Jammu on March 26 to give the impression that he termed both the leaders Pakistan’s agents. “Mr. Modi never said Mr. Antony and Mr. Kejriwal were Pakistan agents. The media only misinterpreted Mr. Modi’s statement. As far as the BJP is concerned, it has no prejudice against Mr. Antony,” he said.

However, Mr. Naidu alleged, the unity and integrity of the country had been badly affected under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC president Sonia Gandhi, and Mr. Antony. Mr. Antony was a disaster as Defence Minister as it was under his rule that China dared to intrude into Indian territory to construct 16 helipads. “Now, Arunachal Pradesh is being shown by China as part of its territory. Indian jawans are being beheaded and the government has failed to act,” he said.

Likening Mr. Antony to a cook who did not know cooking, Mr. Naidu said the Defence Minister had failed to take crucial decisions at crucial moments.

Mr. Naidu said the BJP would open its account in Kerala this time.

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