Congress divided over issues of national security: BJP

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday said the opposition Congress was “divided” on issues concerning national security.

The BJP reaction came after Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Monday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raking up the Balochistan issue in his Independence Day address to the nation from the Red Fort here.

The Congress, however, distanced itself officially from Khurshid and backed the Prime Minister’s stand on countering Pakistan by raising the Balochistan issue.

“The divisions in the Congress and among its leaders were even visible at Sharm el-Sheikh. They are divided over the issues concerning national security,” BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh told the media here.

The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani met in July 2009 on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.

The joint statement issued by the two nations after the meeting mentioned Balochistan, which was criticised by the BJP which was then in opposition at the Centre.

He also accused some of the Congress leaders of issuing statements which tend to support Pakistan.

“They say one thing during all-party meetings and another thing outside,” he said.

“Pakistan has lost the golden opportunity given by India to walk along on the path of peace. We had extended our hand for friendship and peace,” Singh said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attempts to reach out to the neighbouring country.

In December 2015, Modi made an unscheduled landing in Lahore to meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

“Now India will pay in the same coin,” Singh said.

Prime Minister Modi, during his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort on Monday, raked up the issue of Balochistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and announced his support to the causes of people of these regions.

Earlier, the BJP leader also criticised Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, asking him why he did not ask his son, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, to resign over poor governance.

“If Netaji (Mulayam Singh) is so concerned about the misgovernance, land grabbing and high-handed behaviour of SP cadres in Uttar Pradesh, why did he never ask his son to resign,” Singh said.

He said, “Kya putrahit janhit ke upar hai (Has love for his son taken precedence over public interest)?”

He also said that people are waiting to see what action the Uttar Pradesh government will take against those Samajwadi Party leaders who illegally grab public land.