New Delhi: BJP today accused Congress of forcing its Chief Ministers of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to retract statements on Naga peace accord and said it "augurs badly" for the country that the opposition party does so on the issue of national security.
BJP asked Congress to introspect and reminded Sonia Gandhi of the Shillong Accord signed in 1975 when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi did not brief or consult the Chief Ministers of North East, charging it with adopting different measures for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA government.
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rebutted the charge that no one was consulted by Modi government before signing the Nagaland Accord with NSCN (IM) and said the Prime Minister held detailed discussions with the Chief Minister, the Speaker and members of Nagaland assembly besides also working in close coordination with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
"Congress party should introspect rather than criticise the government even on a measure like this which has waited for a very long time and several governments have been engaged for it. It is not good for the country, particularly for the North East. I think the approach of Congress party should be for more in the national interest," she said.
Sitharaman accused Congress of going against the voice of its own Chief Ministers and MPs who had initially welcomed the move but are now opposing the accord.
"To muffle their voice and make them speak much against their own opinion does not speak about any freedom of speech, freedom of expression and democracy within Congress party and on a matter of national security," she said.
The Minister added that it is important that Congress plays an important role of being in opposition, as a constructive opposition and differentiates on issues and their national importance rather than pick up a fight on every issue and say they are shocked, surprised and will tooth and nail oppose it.