Opposition blasts ‘blatant politicisation’ of sacrifices

The Asian Age.

India, All India

Leaders paid homage to soldiers killed in Pulwama attack, express solidarity with Armed Forces.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi reads a joint statement after the Opposition parties’ meet at Parliament House complex in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: Pritam Bandyopadhyay)

New Delhi: The 21 major Opposition parties on Wednesday expressed anguish over what they alleged was “blatant politicisation” of the sacrifices of armed forces and urged the Government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India's sovereignty, unity and integrity.

Reading out a joint statement on behalf of the entire opposition after a three-hour long marathon meeting of the 21 parties, Congress president Rahul Gandhi while quoting from it, said that it was “observed that the Prime Minister has, regrettably, not convened an-all party meeting as per the established practice in our democracy”.

At the same time in the meeting, where incidentally the Samajwadi Party was not present, the Opposition parties expressed concern over the prevailing security situation in the country and condemned the “dastardly” Pulwama terror attack by “Pakistan-sponsored terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad on February 14”.

“Anguished over blatant politicisation of sacrifices of armed forces by ruling party. Urge government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India's sovereignty, unity, integrity. National security must transcend narrow political consideration,” the joint statement said.

The leaders paid homage to the soldiers killed in the attack and expressed solidarity with the Armed Forces.

In the joint statement, the parties lauded the Indian Air Force’s strike on the terrorist camp on February 26 but also expressed concern over the emerging security situation.

“Post the statement from the MEA regarding targeting of our military installations and loss of one fighter aircraft, the leaders condemned the Pakistani misadventure and expressed their deep concern for the safety of our missing pilot,” Mr Gandhi said while reading out the statement.

Apart from Mr Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Ninister Manmohan Singh, Congress leaders A.K. Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel; Sharad Pawar (NCP); Chandrababu Naidu (TDP); Mamata Banerjee (TMC); Sharad Yadav (LJD); T Shiva (DMK); Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M); Satish Chandra Misra (BSP); Manoj Jha(RJD); Sanjay Singh (AAP); Sudhakar Reddy (CPI); Danish Ali (JD-S); Shibu Soren(JMM); Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP); Ashok Kumar Singh (JVM); Jitin Ram Manjhi (HAM);  Kodandaram (TJS) among others also participated in the meeting.

Apart from Samajwadi Party, National Conferen-ce’s Omar Abdullah also skipped the meeting.

Later in a tweet Mr Abdullah said he had “requested the opposition to postpone the meeting in light of the developments, especially after the news of our pilot being in Pakistani custody but they felt otherwise. I chose not to attend as a result”.

In the light of the prevailing situation, the Congress postponed the meeting of its CEC and CWC which were to be held on Febru-ary 27 and 28 respectively.

The Opposition on Tuesday had decided to drop the formulation of the common minimum programme as the agenda for their meeting on Wednesday in view of the prevailing security situation in the country.

In the light of the prevailing situation, the Congress postponed the meeting of its Central Election Committee (CEC) and Working Committee (CWC), which were scheduled to be held on February 27 and 28 respectively.