‘Restore equilibrium between Defence Min, Army’

Striking a balanced note, BJP said it was "assured" by clarifications from the Army and government on reports of troop movement to the capital.

New Delhi: Striking a balanced note, BJP
today said it was "assured" by clarifications from the Army
and government on reports of troop movement to the capital but
insisted that the Prime Minister should proactively restore
the equilibrium between the Defence Ministry and armed forces.

"There are reports today 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 denial," BJP Chief spokesperson
Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference.
A newspaper report had stated that two military units
had moved towards New Delhi on the night of January 16 as part
of a routine exercise which had "spooked" the Defence
Ministry. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K
Antony and the Army have denied the report.

While being cautious and responsible on the issue,
BJP did not let go of an opportunity to hit out at the
government. It 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.
"We must ensure- and that is indeed very important-
that there is no room or apprehension for any sponsored story.
The relationship between the army and the political leadership
of the country is at an all-time low. This is a matter of very
deep concern," Prasad said.

BJP demanded that the "equilibrium" between the
civilian leadership and the Army must be restored.

"We want the government to be more proactive. Several
questions have arisen about the Army. The Prime Minister has
spoken one or two lines today after a long silence. We expect
he will speak more on this sensitive issue and play a more
proactive role... This must end," Prasad said.