Training its guns on the government for the latest mishap involving a naval warship, BJP today demanded the resignation of Defence Minister A K Antony, holding him responsible for the incident and the neglect of the Navy. The principal Opposition party asked the President as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to initiate a detailed investigation into this "mess" and said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh owes an explanation on the accidents.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar accused the Congress- led UPA government of indulging in scams and jeopardising the country's defence preparedness by not focusing on the equipment needs of the armed forces and stalling the procurement process. "This is the 11th serious accident in past 11 months.
This is the result of complete neglect of the Navy by the Congress- led UPA government. Defence Minister Antony must take the responsibility and resign forthwith," he said. "This is the result of vested interest and commission under the patronage of Congress dominating each and every acquisition. Instead of ensuring a transparent procurement system the Defence Minister aborts the deal when the scam is in open. This reflects adversely on our defence preparedness and all the three forces suffer," he said. The BJP mourned the death of a naval officer in today's incident.
Javadekar also recalled the statement of Finance Minister P Chidambram, who had pointed out that the Defence Ministry is not utilising funds "wisely", and said the Finance Ministry in the first place does not provide the required funds for defence forces and Navy has received a raw deal for past 10 years even as the condition of many naval vessels is precarious.