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‘Opposition reluctant to celebrate Masood Azhar ban’, says Arun Jaitley

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said, speaking in one voice on issues such as external affairs and national security has been a tradition in this country, but there has been a departure from it in the past few years.

india Updated: May 03, 2019 01:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Masood Azhar,Masood Azhar ban,Arun Jaitley
The United Nations designating Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist is a diplomatic victory for India, said Arun Jaitley said on Thursday. (Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

The United Nations designating Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist is a diplomatic victory for India and the Opposition is reluctant to celebrate the achievement fearing they will have to pay a political price for it, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.

Four out of seven rounds of polling for the Lok Sabha are over, and Wednesday’s announcement is seen as a shot in the arm for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party has made nationalism a big talking point in the election campaign.

“It is a matter of pride that nationalism is an issue in this election,” Jaitley told reporters at the BJP headquarters. “It is a shame that Opposition doesn’t want this to be so.”

Jaitley said, speaking in one voice on issues such as external affairs and national security has been a tradition in this country, but there has been a departure from it in the past few years.

“If India wins, Indians win. But, there are friends in Opposition who are not celebrating as they may have to pay a political price for it,” Jaitley said. The senior BJP leader said that the effort to designate Azhar a global terrorist was started in 2009, but bore fruits under the present regime.

Congress spokesperson Rajeev Shukla back, saying such designations were the result of a continuous process and just one government should not take credit for it. “We humbly request them with folded hands to not take credit for everything,” he said.

First Published: May 03, 2019 01:27 IST