New Delhi/Naggur: The Uri attack might keep Manohar Parrikar away from his pet retreat – Panaji – with a government source saying Narendra Modi had conveyed to his defence minister he would have to be more involved with developments on the border.
“If it is an internal terror strike, then, of course, the home minister will be fully in charge. But Uri concerns the border and a possible build-up by the infiltrators. That’s within the defence minister’s purview,” the source said.
Parrikar was in Panaji today to take stock of the BJP’s preparations for the Goa Assembly elections next year. He rushed back to Delhi and left for Uri.
In a tweet, Modi said: “Have spoken to HM and RM ( raksha mantri or defence minister) on the situation. RM will go to J&K himself to take stock of the situation.”
Although Modi, assisted by Doval, will oversee the Jammu and Kashmir operations, Modi’s commandments will have to be executed by Parrikar.
Parrikar, a former chief minister, has visited Goa every week for the past few months, addressing meetings and allowing the perception to travel across that he will be the man in charge of electioneering.
A veiled barb came from his successor Laxmikant Parsekar today. “What had happened (in Uri) is most unfortunate…. I think the government of India needs to be a little more offensive in the region. Government should see that adequate measures are adopted to see that such things don’t happen in future,” Parsekar tweeted.
Parrikar’s remarks about Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has had a mouth surgery, did not exactly amuse the BJP. “His (Kejriwal’s) tongue must have over-stretched itself because of the number of times he has criticised Mr Modi,” agencies quoted him as saying. “Now he has to get it trimmed.”
A BJP official said it “doesn’t behove his stature to speak loosely like this”, adding that although Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party was preparing to fight the Goa polls seriously, the country’s defence minister should not have “belittled” himself even if he wished to take an opponent on.
Parrikar has already run up a dispute with Subhash Velingkar, an RSS rebel who broke ranks with the Sangh, alleging the defence minister had made things hard for him.
Velingkar has since floated his own party that might tie up with the Shiv Sena.