Congress, BJP spar over Pakistani 'terror boat'

New Delhi: The ruling BJP Sunday hit out at the Congress for seeking a probe into the alleged Pakistani "terror boat" incident and said its questioning the matter showed the opposition party had touched a "new low" in politics.

"A new low in Indian politics has been touched, and who has been responsible for this? It's the Congress, the principal opposition party of India. It has touched a new abysmal low as far as politics is concerned," Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra told reporters here.

"The Congress has time and again spoken in the same language that Pakistan has spoken. Today, we cannot differentiate between a Congress spokesperson and a Pakistani spokesperson," he said at a press conference.

"Congress has supplied oxygen to Pakistan time and again," he said.

Congress leader Ajoy Kumar, accusing the National Democratic Alliance government of sensationalizing the issue, Sunday said it should come clean on the matter by naming the terror organization involved in the incident as different versions were coming out.

"The government should come clean on it. There is no evidence. How can you say that a terrorist attack was prevented?" he told reporters here.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the party did not need lessons on nationalism from the "chaperones of terrorists" and referred to the 1999 Kandahar hijacking incident to say that the BJP leadership had escorted known terrorists to freedom and the party would do well to remember it.

He said his party acknowledged that Pakistan had been waging a "proxy war" against India but said the BJP's reaction was a blow to the bipartisanship required for national security.

"The government needs to put all the facts in the case in the public space," Tewari told Times Now.

Also attacking the Congress, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said there was "nothing new in the Congress speaking the language of terrorists" and accused it of being "soft on terror due to its vote-bank politics".

Patra said if the Congress wanted details about the incident, it could have asked for them but it chose to speak out of turn and raised doubt over a serious national issue.

"The Congress chose not to stand with the Indian government. The Congress chose not to stand with the Indian Coast Guard. The Congress chose not to speak in favour of the Indian intelligence agencies," he said adding that this has helped Pakistan to have "last laugh"

An alleged Pakistani fishing boat was intercepted by the Coast Guard off Gujarat coast when it attempted to escape early Jan 1. The boat sank after its crew allegedly set fire to it and there were no survivors.

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