New Delhi: The BJP today wondered why it took "so long" for the Prime Minister to respond to the "barbaric" beheading of an Indian soldier along the Line of Control and asked if his reaction today was out of conviction or compulsion.
The opposition party said it was able to make the government understand the mood of the nation seeking tough measures against Pakistan in the wake of the barbaric incident.
"The fact that it has taken so long for PM to react makes me wonder if today's reaction is out of conviction or out of compulsion. I hope this marks the burial of the Sharm-al-Sheikh line," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said expressing skepticism over the Prime Minister's statement.
Expressing satisfaction over the talks with National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said, "I can say that the meeting was successful...we were able to make the Prime Minister understand the mood of the nation."
Talking about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's tough message to Pakistan that there cannot be business as usual with it in the aftermath of the "barbaric" beheading of an Indian soldier, Swaraj said, "I felt happy, even if it is late, the Prime Minister has understood the mood of the nation and what the opposition had talked about."
The Prime Minister had earlier deputed NSA Shivshankar Menon to brief Leaders of Opposition in Parliament on the situation arising out of the incident along the LoC and the latter had an hour-long meeting with the two in the morning.
Swaraj said during their meeting with Menon, they had conveyed to him that protests and displeasure was fine, but the government should understand the anger of the nation and sought tough measures against the neighbouring country.
Speaking at a function to launch the web portal www.ataljee.org, Swaraj charged the Prime Minister with not being a "leader" and not possessing the qualities of one who could lead the nation like Atal Behari Vajpayee did.
Comparing Singh with Vajpayee, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha said, "Manmohan Singh is Prime Minister, but he is not a leader. What to talk of being a leader of the nation, he (Singh) is not even a leader of his own party...Atalji was a Prime Minister as also the leader of the nation."
Swaraj also attacked Sonia Gandhi for being the "leader" who ran the government and not Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and questioned how a coalition government could run this way.
She also criticised the Prime Minister for blaming the coalition partners for every failure of the UPA by bringing in coalition politics. "Whatever bad is happening in the UPA, it is this government which is responsible for it and whatever good is being done, it is being done by their leader Sonia Gandhi,"
she said attacking the UPA Chairperson.
The Prime Minister today broke his silence over the January 8 ghastly incident saying, "after this barbaric act, there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan", even as he justified his action of suspending visa facility.
"Those responsible for this crime will have to be brought to book" and hoped "Pakistan realises this," Singh said. Earlier, in a bid to step up pressure on the Centre over the LoC incident, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi attacked the government saying it has failed to protect the nation's honour and instill confidence in the people.
"This government has shown that it is neither capable of protecting the boundaries nor the dignity of its citizens. This government is not doing anything substantial and does not evoke any confidence in the minds of the people," he said.
He said the government's policy regarding national security is weak and it is not treating Pakistan the way it should be treated. Swaraj had yesterday upped the ante over the LoC incident, saying, "If Pakistan does not return the head of martyred soldier Hemraj, India should get at least ten heads from the other side."