Congress, BJP on war of words over Army's Myanmar operationtext_fields
New Delhi: Congress on Thursday came down hard on Union Ministers for making "boastful and jingoistic" statements on the Army operation in Myanmar and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give them "mentoring and counselling".
The ruling BJP hit out at its principal opposition party saying Congress was speaking Pakistan's "language" instead of playing the role of a constructive opposition.
Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma faulted with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's statement saying he has "foot-in-mouth" disease and is in the "habit" of making "irresponsible" statements.
Mr. Sharma's attack came on a day Defence Minister Manohar Parrkiar attributed the Myanmar operation to "change in mindset". Taking a dig at Pakistan, the Minister said those who "fear India's new posture" have already started reacting.
"There should be sobriety and maturity. Jingoism and boastful claims are not going to help the operations of India's special forces," he said.
Mr. Sharma, who has been a senior Minister during the UPA rule, also advised National Security Advisor to work and speak with restraint and said that his style of functioning raised serious questions of propriety.
"I would request the Prime Minister to give them mentoring and counselling... PM should restrain his ministers so there is no repeat," he said.
The Congress spokesman's refrain was that in matters of operations by Special forces and those concerning India's neighbours, there should be sobriety and maturity in the statements and actions of Union Ministers and others concerned.
"Those who should be taking care of national security are busy having sponsored stories in the newspapers and photographs about what they have been doing in Manipur. What they propose to do in the coming days," he told reporters, in an apparent attack on the NSA.
Indian Army had undertaken a successful cross-border strike with the knowledge of Myanmarese authorities killing at least 38 insurgents who were part of the groups believed to be responsible for the ambush on June 4 that left 20 soldiers dead.
The Congress leader added that in the last four days, the country has applauded India's Army and its Special Forces for undertaking operations along the Myanmar border to neutralise some of the militant outfits.
"The government should have the maturity and wisdom not to make statements which might create tension in the region and embarrass the neighbouring countries and the governments which cooperate with the Indian Army," Mr. Sharma said adding, secrecy needs to be maintained about Special Forces' missions.
Responding to Congress' criticism, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, "Congress is in depression ever since it lost Lok Sabha elections. It is gripped with negative thoughts and criticises everything."
"Congress should accept the reality and not speak the language of Pakistan, as done by it in the past. It should instead play the role of a constructive opposition and start talking in national interest and for the country's security," he said.
Asking Congress not to politicise the issue, he said the opposition party should have an introspection of its "mistakes" committed during the UPA's 10-year rule.
"There is a strong leadership in place now and it will not repeat those mistakes. Through this operation, there is a clear message that if anyone tries to play with India, death will beseech the enemies," the BJP leader said.
"The Myanmar attack is just a beginning. There will be similar actions whenever anyone tries to play with India's security and challenges it," he said, while asking Congress to refrain from making "irresponsible" statements.