Happy that Defence Minister has accepted mistake: BJP

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SUSHMANew Delhi, August 8, 2013: With A.K. Antony speaking of involvement of Pakistani troops in the LoC attack, the BJP on Thursday came out in support of the government on the response over the killing of Indian soldiers, saying it was happy that the Defence Minister has accepted his mistake and rectified it.

“We are happy that the Defence Minister has accepted his mistake and tried to rectify it…He has said the Pakistan Army was involved and that our restraint should not be taken for granted,” Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said soon after Mr. Antony’s fresh statement in the House.

Taking on Congress, Ms. Swaraj suggested that those who had alleged BJP was playing politics over the killing of five Indian soldiers were wrong and they should know that the party was trying to get corrected the Defence Minister’s statement made on August 6.

Ms. Swaraj said the Opposition was not playing politics but wanted to express the commitment of the nation on the issue and send a message to Pakistan that it cannot commit such acts again.

“The Opposition supports your statement and we have been successful in saying in one voice that Pakistan cannot resort to such acts,” she said, telling the government that it should ensure that such a mistake is not repeated.

While Ms. Swaraj signalled that the issue was over for BJP, NDA ally Shiv Sena expressed dissatisfaction with Mr. Antony’s statement.

The Sena leader Anant Geete said India cannot hold talks with Pakistan in such a situation.

Prabhunath Singh, who recently returned to Lok Sabha as a RJD member, said four of the soldiers killed were from Bihar and wanted to have his say. At one point he even trooped into the Well to draw the attention of the Speaker.

Yashwant Sinha (BJP) sought to know as to why the Defence Minister has left the House.

The Speaker said that no questions are allowed after the minister’s statement.

Even Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP), Shailendra Kumar (SP) and Basudeb Acharia (CPI(M)) also wanted a discussion on the issue.

“We may have a discussion if you give a notice,” the Speaker said.

Mr. Singh insisted on speaking on the issue but the Speaker adjourned the House as several members were on their feet expressing dissatisfaction over Mr. Antony’s clarification.

Mr. Antony made the statement on Thursday after the Opposition created an uproar on Wednesday over his contention that some persons wearing Pakistan army uniforms had killed the five soldiers at the LoC.

The matter came up during the Prime Minister’s meeting on Wednesday with the BJP top brass. The BJP had raised the issue upon which the government assured it that Mr. Antony will make a statement in the House.

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