The Congress asked the BJP-led NDA government on Tuesday to refrain from politicising the issue of surgical strikes across the LoC, even as it released dates of cross-border raids carried out during the UPA government.
The main Opposition party said the armed forces had successfully conducted such surgical strikes, particularly on September 1, 2011, July 28, 2013, and January 14, 2014.
“In its maturity, wisdom and in the interest of national security, the UPA government avoided making a loud claim for the effective response and action of Indian army, which had the full support of political leadership,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
- August 1, 2011: Havildar Jaipal Singh Adhikari and Lance Naik Devender Singh of the Rajput regiment were beheaded in a cross-border assault in Kupwara Surgical strikes: September 1, 2011
- January 8, 2013: Pakistani troops beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj Singh and gunned down another soldier in the Mendhar sector Surgical strikes: July 28, 2013
- August 6, 2013: Pakistani troops kill five soldiers in a cross-border strike in the Poonch sector Surgical strikes: January 14, 2014
The tussle over taking the political ownership of surgical strikes across the LoC has gained momentum in view of the upcoming assembly elections in UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. Former J&K CM and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted a picture of a purported BJP hoarding in UP. “And some people will lecture others about politicising the army action all the while turning a blind eye to hoardings like these that sprout,” he said.
“No reward for guessing that this one is in UP. For the BJP & sections of the shouting brigade it’s always do as we say don’t do as we do!!!” Abdullah said in another tweet.
For its part, the Congress urged the government to “stop politicising the sacrifices and bravery of Indian soldiers for myopic” political gains.
“I don’t think the cross-border action is a novelty or is unprecedented. Just ask the generals, they will tell you that there have been numerous incidences of cross-border action across the LoC. What has changed is that the government took political ownership. That is a conscious decision of this government,” senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said.
He said the UPA government’s policy was “strategic restraint” and it took a call that the cross-border action should be at the military level and leave it to the generals to say what they want to say.