File photo: Coffins carrying the bodies of the martyred Indian soldiers
After the controversy over statement by Bihar Minister Bhim Singh on the killing of five Indian soldiers along LoC, his colleague in Nitish government has now raised hackles by giving a clean chit to Pakistan over the issue.
"I don't believe that Pakistan is responsible for the incident (killing of five Indian soldiers by Pakistani army on the LoC in Poonch district) on Tuesday," Agriculture minister Narendra Singh today said, in remarks which come as further embarrassment for the Nitish Kumar led JD(U)government.
"Pakistan is our younger brother and a neighbour," he commented when asked about the firing incident in which jawans of 21st Bihar Regiment were killed when they were patrolling along LoC on Tuesday last.
Four of the five army men killed were from Bihar.
On Thursday, Rural Works and Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh had said that policemen and soldiers are recruited to make sacrifices for the nation, for which he later apologized after his comments created a furore.
Meanwhile, Bihar BJP leaders took strong exception to the agriculture minister's statement saying it speaks "volumes on Singh's mental bankruptcy."
The Minister's comments go against the Indian government's stated position and sentiments of the people, BJP leaders Mangal Pandey and Giriraj Singh said.
"The statement is yet another case of disrespect to the supreme sacrifices made by our soldiers and grief of their families and the country as a whole," the BJP leaders said, alleging JD(U) has taken a contrary view apparently for its minority appeasement politics for votebank.