Bangalore, Aug 8: Defending Defence Minister A K Antony on the Poonch killings issue, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Thursday accused the BJP of politicising an issue concerning national security.
"It is very unfortunate that the issue of national security is being politicised by the BJP. Mr Antony is a very senior and experienced political leader," Mr Singh said on the controversy over Antony's "contradictory" statements on Poonch killings.
Pakistan killing Indian soldiers was a highly condemnable act and has to be met strongly by the Indian Government, Mr Singh said, adding, "However, the decision should be made after due consideration at the highest level."
Speaking to reporters after meeting former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna at his residence in Bangalore, Mr Singh said the government's hands shouldn't be forced because all political parties in the past got together to fight any external threat. "Even the post-Indian history suggests this."
Talking about the issue, Mr Krishna said it is the "most preposterous" allegation anybody could make that Congress has adopted a soft stand on the issue of soldiers' killings.
He said UPA has always been serious about safeguarding the interests of the country and its borders without compromising on these issues.
Mr. Krishna said "India tried to extend its hands of friendship to Pakistan, but the neighbour did not substantially come forward."
Quoting former U.S. President Franklin D Roosevelt, he said, "we will have to keep the powder dry without using it," adding, "Let them (Pakistan) know we are strong enough to defend our borders and we shall."
On issues pertaining to Karnataka, Singh said it was necessary for the party to put up a united front to defeat the "unholy alliance" of JDS and BJP in the August 21 Lok Sabha by-elections for Bangalore Rural and Mandya seats.
In an apparent tacit understanding with JDS, the BJP on Wednesday withdrew its candidates from Mandya and Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituencies. In a return favour, JDS did not field candidates for the August 22 Legislative Council poll from Dharwad, Chitradurga and Mysore Local Authorities constituencies.
"The party will work under Krishna, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC President G Parameshwara and campaign unitedly to defeat this unholy partnership," he said.