After Balakot, A-Sat boost for BJP’s nationalist pitch

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 27, 2019

The BJP praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his his thrust on national security which led to India joining an elite club of space powers on Wednesday.

Finance Minister hails PM for clarity on national security issues; attacks Congress for running down security forces and scientists

A month after air strikes in Pakistan, which boosted the BJP’s ultra-nationalistic pitch in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the ruling party on Wednesday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his thrust on national security, which led to India joining an elite club of space powers by shooting down a live satellite with an anti-satellite weapon.

The BJP simultaneously attacked the Congress for “lacking the capacity, clarity on national security and lack of faith in scientists”, because of which, India has thus far failed to emerge in the league of the US, China and Russia — the only countries which have tested an anti-satellite weapon.

Soon after the PM’s address to the nation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore jointly addressed a press conference to underline the ruling party and Modi’s strong stand on national security and attacked the Opposition, especially the Congress, for running down the morale of the security forces and the scientists.

Blames UPA for delay

The Finance Minister cited a news report on April 21, 2012, which quoted former director-general of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) VK Saraswat as saying — Indian scientists were ready for such an operation for a decade but the UPA government led by the Congress did not give a go-ahead. “This whole operation started after 2014 when the PM gave the permission,” said a statement later issued by the BJP.

While he accused the Congress of not displaying any faith in scientists, the Finance Minister said the principal opposition party had similarly questioned surgical strikes and the operation in Balakot (Pakistan) last month because it has neither clarity nor intent to be firm on matters relating to national security.

“The lower they stoop, the stronger we will emerge,” said the Finance Minister, responding to the Opposition’s criticism of the “politicisation” of national security.

BJP President Amit Shah tweeted: Thus speaks the inheritor of the dynasty that thinks — All the nation’s a stage! For them: Sacrifices of soldiers — drama; success of scientists — drama; masquerading as leaders all that ‘The Dynasty’ has done is to plunder, weaken and ruin the nation.

Published on March 27, 2019

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