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Nirmala Sitharaman on Congress' Manifesto: 'It indirectly helps terrorists, saperatists'

News Agencies | Updated on: 3 April 2019, 15:25 IST

Keeping up the heat on the Congress over the national security issue, the BJP Wednesday alleged that various provisions in the opposition party's manifesto are a threat to the country as they favour separatists and terrorists, and demoralise the armed forces.

BJP leader and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters that the Congress manifesto, which was released Tuesday, is not in national interest and indirectly helps terrorists and others working against the country. She cited the Congress' promise to review the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) and to repeal Section 124A (sedition law) of the Indian Penal Code to attack the party.

The AFSPA gives the armed forces certain protection from legal action in carrying out their operations in disturbed areas. Sitharaman insisted that her party was not against withdrawing the AFSPA, if situation permitted it, but the Congress's promise to tweak its provisions, if voted to power, will allow terrorists and their friends to target security personnel with manufactured allegations.

The Modi government in tandem with respective state governments has withdrawn AFSPA from Meghalaya and Tripura and most parts of Assam, she said, asking that from how many places did the Congress remove it when it was in power during 2004-14.

On the Congress's stand that powers of armed forces and human rights should be balanced, she said it should not be presumed that the former is against the latter.

"It does not portend well for unity of the country and the morale of armed forces," she said, attacking the Congress. To a question about the welfare measures contained in the manifesto, she said it was not in the opposition party's character to implement its promises.

-PTI

First published: 3 April 2019, 15:25 IST
 
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