NEW DELHI / SRINAGAR Leaders of the Congress and regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remark that India’s nuclear arsenal is not for Diwali fireworks, calling it “boastful” and “irresponsible”.
Modi made the remark at an election rally in Barmer in Rajasthan on Sunday while asserting that India is no more afraid of Pakistan’s nuclear threats.
“India has stopped getting scared of Pakistan’s threats, I have done right, no? Else every other day they(Pakistan) used to say ‘we have nuclear button’….What do we have then? Have we kept it (nuclear button) for Diwali?” the prime minister told the gathering.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh criticised Modi’s remark as “irresponsible”.
“PM Narendra Modi’s election speeches and irresponsible statements point to the growing desperation in the BJP. Prime Minister’s boastful claims of being ready for a nuclear missile attack on Pakistan and US intervention are uncalled for and not in interest of national security,” Sharma tweeted.
Sharma’s reaction was also in reference to Modi’s comments in Patan in Gujarat that after Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was held by Pakistan, a senior American official on the second day said that “Modi has kept 12 missiles ready and might attack and the situation will deteriorate”.
“Pakistan announced return of the pilot or else it was going to be a ‘qatal ki raat'(a night of bloodshed),” the prime minister had said.
Sharma also said the Congress would like to remind Modi that these elections are about unemployment, farm distress and the betrayal of the voters on electoral promises.
Every Indian is proud of the valour of our forces and our nuclear capabilities, but the government cannot hide behind this, he said, adding, “India needs answers.”
“Reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi that ‘Rashtrapita’ is Mahatma Gandhi and India is celebrated as the world’s largest democracy. It will be a sad moment that India is globally judged & you are equated with Kim Jong-un for making threatening statements of nuclear strike,” Sharma added.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti hit out at Modi for bringing nuclear bombs in the political discourse, saying if India has not kept the nuclear bomb for Diwali, Pakistan has not kept it for Eid.
“If India hasn’t kept nuclear bomb for Diwali, it’s obvious Pakistan’s not kept theirs for Eid either. Don’t know why PM Modi must stoop so low & reduce political discourse to this,” the former chief minister of J and K tweeted.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, also a former chief minister, said threat of nuclear annihilation was not a ‘PUBG’ game where one can hit the reset button to restore normal life.
“Whether Diwali or Eid, both PM Modi & Ms Mufti have used the threat of nuclear annihilation as some sort of PUBG type game where they can just hit the reset button & life will carry on. Both of them would be well served to remember #Hiroshima & #Nagasaki when issuing such threats,” Abdullah said in a tweet. Player Unknown’s Battleground (PUBG) is a popular mobile game about fighting for survival.
Responding to online criticism of her statement, Mehbooba Mufti said it was disturbing that Mahatma Gandhi’s India was baying for blood.
“To be trolled by RW(right wing)for it is amusing & baffling. Does one have to be enthusiastic about nuclear war to earn the credentials of a true patriot? Disturbing that Gandhi’s India is baying for blood.”
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.