NEW DELHI: The BJP on Wednesday said that the “equilibrium between the Army and the government must be restored” and asked the Prime Minister to “work pro-actively” towards this.
The BJP observation came “in the wake of a series of events that had highlighted governance deficit” of the UPA government and something that “had also affected the armed forces”.
“There is a report in a newspaper of unusual movement of Army units around Delhi in January. Both the government and the Army have categorically denied it. We are assured to learn about this,” said BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The BJP heaped praise on the Army for its sacrifice and professionalism, but made a scathing attack on the government for failing to check its growing differences with the Army. “The relationship between the Army and the political leadership of the day is at all-time low. This is a matter of very deep concern… We want the equilibrium between the Army and the civilian leadership to be restored, and the government must work pro-actively towards this… The Prime Minister has said one or two lines after a long spell of silence. We expect him to speak more often on this sensitive issue,” Prasad said. “The armed forces are one of the most important institutions of the country. We need to trust and respect the professionalism of the armed forces. Under our democratic set-up they work under civilian control. The reports of the Army’s differences with the Defence Ministry are worrying,” he said.
“There is a governance deficit...The UPA government has messed up a whole lot of things because of incapacity of political leadership...There’s confusion on policy issues...All this has led to a situation of which the Army has become a victim. This is definitely not in the country’s interests,” Prasad said.
Meanwhile, the party distanced itself from the views expressed by party MP Balbir Punj who had called for Defence Minister’s resignation on the issue.
“What I have said is the official version of the BJP. I am speaking here as the general secretary and chief spokesperson of the party,” Prasad said, as he steered clear of demanding resignation of the Defence Minister on the issue.