New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Union Minister Ananth Kumar on Thursday credited former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with conducting the surgical strikes and said he was back in Goa on “popular demand”, after opposition parties targeted the BJP-led government for having failed to find a “full-time” Defence Minister.
As the Lok Sabha discussed the demands of grant for the Defence Ministry, Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should find a permanent Defence Minister for the country.
“Sad that this government had difficulties in 2014 in finding a capable and dedicated full-time Defence Minister,” Bose said.
“The (former) Defence Minister is more interested in Goan cuisine, than providing good food to the soldiers. The Prime Minister should find a full-time Defence Minister,” he added.
BJP member and former Home Secretary R.K. Singh jumped to Parrikar’s defence and said: “He was called by the people of Goa.”
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar also defended the former minister.
“Parrikar has gone there on popular demand of Goan people. It is not good of Sugata Bose to criticise him when he is not here,” Kumar said.
“The credit of surgical strikes should be given to every jawan, Prime Minister and definitely to Parrikar. His planning made the difference and he did the surgical strikes,” Ananth Kumar said.
Soon after, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Pinaki Misra said: “Let there be no smallness of heart in offering our congratulations (to Parrikar).”
He, however, took a jibe at both Parrikar and the new Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, saying that Parrikar was an “unhappy man” in Delhi, and Jaitley has many friends here.
“He was clearly an unhappy man in Delhi,” Misra said pointing at Parrikar’s statement where he said he had no friends in Delhi and he did not like the food.
“Thankfully we now have Mr Jaitley who has more friends in Delhi than anyone I know… Who likes food in Delhi. There must be happy days in Defence Ministry,” Misra added.