Congress attack on Centre caught in map row

According to Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesman Satyadev Tripathi, the map was only a printing mistake. The Congress’s policy on Jammu and Kashmir is very clear. This printing mistake does not change the party’s policy.

lucknow Updated: Jun 04, 2017 13:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
All India Congress Committee,China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,BJP
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad with UPCC president Raj Babbar in Lucknow.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

The Congress on Saturday stepped up its attack on the Modi government for being ‘lax’ on issues concerning India’s security. However, a 15 page booklet the party released to make its point landed it in a controversy.

A map on page 12 of the booklet refers to Indian Kashmir as Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The state BJP was quick to react, saying the Congress and Pakistan appear to be speaking the same language on the Jammu and Kashmir issue.

Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesman Satyadev Tripathi, however, said the map was only a printing mistake. “The Congress’s policy on Jammu and Kashmir is very clear. This printing mistake does not change the party’s policy,” said Tripathi.

The booklet is titled “National Security Endangered. Bravado, Rhetoric, Hyperbole Rules—” and is about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“CPEC worth $ 54 billion built through PoK/Balochistan, connecting Gwadar Port in Arabian Sea, to China with base for Chinese sub-marines. Does it not compromise India’s sovereignty over PoK and affects our strategic interests in the Arabian Sea with Chinese naval presence,” read the booklet.

The booklet was circulated to media persons at a press conference that All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary (in charge UP) Ghulam Nabi Azad addressed in the presence of UPCC president Raj Babbar at the party headquarters here.

Azad targeted the Modi government for ‘failing to keep promises’ made to people and ‘misleading the people by inaugurating projects’ initiated during the tenure of UPA government.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not keep the promises he made to the people. All the projects the NDA government leaders have been inaugurating were initiated by the UPA government. Modi government has not taken any initiative. It has been only reacting to actions,” said Azad.

He said the BJP government was spending thousands of crores on highlighting achievements to the people. As an opposition, the Congress was telling the people the BJP government’s claims of achievements were hollow, said Azad.

Azad read out Modi’s statement during the 2014 Lok Sabha poll campaign and said instead of acting on his pre-poll promises Modi invited Pakistan Prime Minister for his swearing in ceremony. “No other Indian leader, including BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee, gave such an honour to a Pakistani Prime Minister,” he said.

Azad also targeted Modi for his Pakistan and China policies and said the NDA government was only reacting to their actions.

He quoted instances of beheading of Indian soldiers by Pakistan and said Modi had made beheading of soldiers a big issue during his poll campaign.

“Modi, however, failed to do anything after assuming power,” he said.

Out of 172 terror attacks in the last three years, 12 major attacks have been made in the past 21 months, he said.

Azad said the government had compromised India’s defence preparedness as Indian Air Force’s fighter fleet had fallen to a record low. He said the ‘defence budget had been drastically reduced’ by the government.

To make his point, Azad presented statistical data about the demands of the armed forces being ‘drastically reduced’ and the allocated amount remaining unspent.

First Published: Jun 04, 2017 13:42 IST