The Congress on Friday took umbrage at the allegations made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar against some former Prime Ministers who, he said, had “compromised” the country’s “deep assets,” and demanded that he give evidence for the comment or tender a public apology.
Mr. Parrikar made the allegations at an event in Mumbai on Thursday while making a reference to the Coast Guard operations involving a boat coming from Pakistan.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, stressing that the charges levelled by Mr. Parrikar were grave, said the party hoped Mr. Parrikar knew what he was saying. The Minister, he said, should put all facts and evidence in the public domain immediately.
“We hope he will not follow the classical ‘shoot and scoot’ policy of the BJP of levelling an allegation and denying it thereafter by taking a U-turn,” he said, adding, “You cannot play with the issue of national security in a political fashion.”
He also wanted to know what assets were compromised and whether they were strategic assets or intelligence assets.
While Congress leader Manish Tewari demanded that either Mr. Parrikar substantiate his allegations or apologise, his party colleague P.C. Chacko demanded that the Minister be more “straightforward.”
BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said Mr. Parrikar was an extremely responsible leader and his statement certainly had a lot of context and one should wait for further details.