Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was only concerned about getting his son, Riteish Deshmukh, a role in a Bollywood movie even when Mumbai was under a terror attack. He was alluding to the terror attack which rocked the country's financial capital on November 26, 2008.
"I am from Mumbai. You may remember the 26/11 terror attack. The then Congress government was weak and could not do anything. The chief minister at that time [Vilasrao Deshmukh] was busy with a film producer outside the Oberoi Hotel -- while shooting and bombing was going on inside. He was concerned about getting his son a role in a movie," Piyush Goyal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal: Our Armed Forces were capable then too but decision was to be taken by the leadership. The security forces kept hoping that they would be allowed to give a befitting reply but they were not allowed to take action. That was a coward govt. pic.twitter.com/st0z3ZMHnh— ANI (@ANI) May 12, 2019
He said this while addressing the business community in Punjab's Ludhiana on Sunday.
The railways and coal minister also termed the erstwhile UPA government-led by Dr Manmohan Singh as a "coward government" for failing to respond to 26/11 attack.
"Our armed forces were capable then too, but the decision was to be taken by the leadership. The security forces kept hoping that they would be allowed to give a befitting reply but they were not allowed to take action. That was a coward government," he added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made national security a poll plank in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls with its leaders referring to surgical strikes post-Uri and airstrike in Pakistan's Balakot as examples of the party's "zero-tolerance" policy on terrorism.
(With inputs from agencies)