Dubai: Hitting out at Congress over the political turmoil in Punjab, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday (October 3) said it is deeply unfortunate that the Congress has gone to the level of "compromising on national security for petty, personal or political gains of a few people" and asserted that national security comes first for the BJP.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Piyush Goyal also lashed out at Rahul Gandhi over his attacks on the government through tweets and comments and said, "their party doesn't take it seriously, it has become a matter of ridicule within the party about what's happening".
He accused the Congress leadership of "destabilising their own governments almost by the day."
Goyal, who did not take any names, said the current leadership of Congress seems to be "completely disconnected from the concerns of the nation" and hoped "they will reflect and care for the nation's security first."
Referring to the remarks of Captain Amarinder Singh, who had resigned as Punjab Chief Minister on September 18 and had accused the Congress leadership of letting him down and of "humiliation," Piyush Goyal said the kind of concerns expressed, the threats to national security on the borders of Punjab are a matter of very deep concern.
"As BJP (leader), I am extremely, deeply concerned about what's happening in the Congress party in Punjab because national security for us comes first. You are aware that our basic training and our basic understanding of the public service is nation first, party next, self last. That is what we are all trained to think and work. That is exactly how the Prime Minister Modi's government and the BJP thinks and works," he said.
"Any instability and the kind of concerns that Captain Amarinder Singh has expressed, the threats to national security on the borders of Punjab are a matter of very deep concern for all of us, and any of the actions of the Congress party leading to this are truly a worry for the entire country. I can only say that it is very, very deeply unfortunate that the Congress has gone to the level of compromising on national security for petty, personal or political gains of a few people," he added.
Asked how Congress will solve its problems in Punjab, Piyush Goyal said he cannot comment on "what the Congress party is planning to do or will do".
"But so far, none of their actions seem to suggest that they have at all any concern for the national security or the nation's interest. I have not yet heard any comment from any senior leader, probably except the G-23, who also has expressed a similar concern about the happenings in Punjab. But the current leadership of Congress seems to be completely disconnected with the concerns of the nation and I do hope that they will reflect and care for our nation's security first," he said.
While Charanjit Singh Channi took over as new Punjab Chief Minister after Amarinder Singh resigned months ahead of the assembly polls in the state, the ruling party in Punjab was plunged into a fresh crisis as Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as state party chief on September 28, over two months of his appointment to the post after an earlier crisis in the party.
Amarinder Singh has said he will "be leaving Congress" and will not lead Sidhu to win the 2022 assembly polls if he contests.
The former chief minister has also said that Sidhu is "not right man" for Punjab and has connections with the Pakistani establishment, adding that Pakistan has been responsible for sending arms, drones, explosives to the border state and "when you know the bigwigs at top, it becomes a matter of national security".
Answering a question about Rahul Gandhi accusing the BJP-led government of talking about the last man standing, but lining the pockets of a few, he said other than some caustic comments by the Congress leader, there is hardly any agenda of nation-building.
"I think, it's almost become like a joke, some of the comments and tweets that we keep receiving from certain individuals in India to the extent that their party doesn't take it seriously, to the extent that it has become a matter of ridicule within the party about what's happening. They are destabilising their own governments almost by the day. Therefore, I think, other than making some caustic comments, there is hardly any agenda of nation-building, hardly any agenda of development, growth and hardly any thoughts about how the country comes first before any politics," Goyal said.
He said the Modi government over the last 7.5 years has taken a series of steps to reach out to the poorest of the poor, to the last man at the bottom of the pyramid.
During his visit to Dubai, Piyush Goyal co-chaired a meeting of the UAE-India High-Level Joint Task Force. He also inaugurated the Indian Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020.
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