B C Khanduri was removed from the panel for health reasons, which is known to him, state BJP in-charge Shyam Jaju said at a press conference here.
The BJP on Tuesday rejected Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s charge that it had insulted senior leader B C Khanduri by removing him from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on defence, saying it was the BJP which made him the head of the panel. B C Khanduri was removed from the panel for health reasons, which is known to him, state BJP in-charge Shyam Jaju said at a press conference here.
“It was the BJP which appointed Khanduri as chairman of the parliamentary committee on defence,” Jaju said.
The accusation was hurled at the BJP by Congress president Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Dehradun where B C Khanduri’s son Manish Khanduri joined the Congress. Rahul Gandhi had cited Khanduri’s alleged “humiliation by the party” as the reason why his son joined the Congress.
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Charging Gandhi with misrepresenting things, he said the allegation of BJP giving a raw deal to party leaders from Uttarakhand did not stick. To buttress his point, Jaju said the party’s sitting MP from Nainital Bhagat Singh Koshiyari was also on an important parliamentary panel and its Almora MP, who represented the scheduled castes, was a Union minister.
Terming Rahul Gandhi’s promises like introducing an unemployment allowance and minimum income guarantee schemes in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls vague and unrealistic, the BJP leader said people know Congress’s character of not doing what it says.
“Rahul Gandhi should first answer what happened to the promises made by his party to the people in the three states where it won. The party should also ask itself what forces it to promise doles to people despite ruling the country for 55 years. “Indira Gandhi gave the slogan of garibi hatao way back in the 1970s. What happened to that? Rahul Gandhi should be asked,” Jaju said. He said nationalism was a major issue in the elections this time and Congress leaders were questioning the valour of the armed forces on a daily basis.
“Leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Randeep Surjewala are raising questions on the valour of the armed forces on a daily basis after Pulwama and the subsequent air strikes against terror targets. What they are doing demoralises our forces,” he said, adding the Congress will get a befitting reply in the polls.
Accusing the Congress of doing politics on the martyrdom of security personnel, Jaju said there is no party which respects armed forces personnel the way BJP does. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates every Holi and Diwali on the borders with the forces,” he said.
Claiming that the Army action against terror targets in Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack has further strengthened people’s faith in the strong leadership of Modi, he said the BJP was all set to retain all the five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand. The state goes to polls on April 11.