Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and his cabinet colleague Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the opposition statement, hitting at the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would play into Pakistan's hands. The opposition issued the statement in the afternoon after leaders of 21 parties met in Parliament to discuss the current escalation of hostilities with Pakistan.
Contending that the opposition allegations were "baseless", Mr Javadekar said, Who is happy (with the joint statement)? Pakistan, its army and its media". The Pakistani media, he said, is using it to claim that the political establishment in India is not united in its fight against terror, and cited a video clipping from a Pakistani news channel to prove his point.
In a series of tweets, Union minister Arun Jaitley also hit out at the opposition.
The whole nation has spoken in one voice. Why, then is India's opposition alleging that the Government is politicising our Anti-Terror Operations.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 27, 2019
My appeal to India's opposition - "Let the country speak in one voice". Please introspect - "Your ill advised statement is being used by Pakistan to bolster its case".— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 27, 2019
His tweets drew a rejoinder from Congress's Randeep Surjewala.
Mr. Jaitley,— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) February 27, 2019
It's BJP & its leadership who require real introspection.
Entire opposition stood as one backing the armed forces & the Govt. Still, Amit Shah & entire BJP resorted to credit seeking for the sacrifice of our martyrs & indulged in blaming the Congress provocatively https://t.co/BlOLgX1gwE
The opposition statement had accused the "leaders of the ruling party" for "blatant politicisation of the sacrifices of the armed forces" - a veiled reference to the BJP attacks on opposition parties since the February 14 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama.
At the opening of the National War Memorial earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ripped into the Congress, accusing it of neglecting the needs of the armed forces.
Indicating the Balakot air strikes and their aftermath, the opposition leaders said the government has failed to take them into confidence. A statement released at the end of the meeting read: "The Prime Minister has, regrettably, not convened an all-party meeting as per the established practice in our democracy".
The BJP was also targetted over its scheduled election-linked programmes. Today, the Prime Minister is expected to address party workers through video-conference to discuss polling booth management.
The Congress has already cancelled its working committee meet that was scheduled for today.
BJP leaders told NDTV that changing the programme of the Prime Minister and other senior leaders of the party at this point would help terrorists' designs to disrupt the democratic process.