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archive: Cong bowed to foreign pressure: BJP

Cong bowed to foreign pressure: BJP

Observer Political Bureau
The Observer
July 27, 1999

    Title: Cong bowed to foreign pressure: BJP
    Author: Observer Political Bureau
    Publication: The Observer
    Date: July 27, 1999
    Introduction: 'Severe cuts imposed on defence expenditure'
    The BJP on Monday charged the Congress with succumbing to "foreign
    pressure" when it was in power and seriously "compromising" 1ndia's
    national security by "imposing severe cuts on defence expenditure."
    The BJP also asserted that since 1947 the Congress Governments had
    exhibited "distressing lack of political leadership" and direction in
    security related matters, costing the nation "dearly - both in terms
    of loss of territory and loss of lives."
    Briefing the press, party general secretary Venkaiah Naidu said, "The
    Congress speaks too much.  Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her
    colleagues intentionally level charges that are calculated to hurt
    national pride.  But they conveniently forget the Congress party's own
    terrible track record of managing India's security interests when in
    He said that the "last Congress Government, acting under foreign
    pressure, seriously com-promised India's national security interests
    by imposing severe cuts on defence expenditure."
    In support of its contention, the BJP cited from the "Memorandum of
    economic policies for 1992-93," submitted by the then Union finance
    minister Manmohan Singh on behalf of the Congress Government to the
    managing director of the IMF in June 1992.
    The BJP said, "Total defence spending is budgeted to rise by 7 per
    cent in nominal terms, resulting in a further real decline to 2.5 per
    cent of the GDP." The BJP said that was an "abject undertaking that
    the Congress Government would starve the defence forces of India of
    the funds they desperately needed."
    As evidence of the Congress party's cutback on defence spending, Mr
    Naidu said that the Congress Government was responsible for the
    "winding up of the Military History Division that was charged with the
    responsibility of preparing an authentic account of the wars fought by
    India.  So much of the Congress concern to learn from the past."
    The BJP general secretary said that right from 1947, whenever the
    Congress was in power, "there was a distressing lack of political
    leadership and direction in security related issues and operations. 
    This in turn, cost the nation dearly - both in terms in loss of
    territory and loss of lives."
    The BJP said that in its attempt to cover up the loss of Aksai Chin,
    Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru had said, "Not a blade of grass grows
    in Aksai Chin." "That scornful attitude towards national security
    became and continues to remain the Congress' policy," Mr Naidu
    He said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi "even while refusing to
    acknowledge India's military and diplomatic triumph in the Kargil
    conflict, continue to ignore the loss of national territory in
    1947-48, the debacle and loss of territory of 1962 and the disastrous
    IPKF misadventure of 1987-89."
    In a detailed statement, the BJP pointed out that in the 1947-48 war,
    India lost 1,103 soldiers, in 1962 - 1,521 soldiers, in 1965 - 2,902
    soldiers, in 1971 - 3,603 soldiers and in the IPKF operations in Sri
    Lanka in 1987, 1,157 Indian soldiers were killed.
    Therefore, the BJP general secretary said, "With a history of
    inflicting such enormous losses on the nation, the Congress can only
    hide behind allegations and untruths" and added that these facts were
    "in sharp contrast" to the Vajpayee Government's "thumping victory and
    an unprecedented diplomatic triumph for India."
    Mr Naidu said that the B.JP was confident that the "people will not be
    dissuaded from the truth by the Congress leadership's campaign that
    hurts national pride and national interests."

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