A combative Congress accused the BJP-led government of exaggeration and hypocrisy, saying the Centre’s attempt to deny credit to previous administrations for striking militant bases across the Line of Control showed India in a bad light.
The strong comments came a day after foreign secretary S Jaishankar told a parliamentary panel that the army had conducted surgical strikes earlier as well but the operations were kept a secret.
This statement, the Congress alleged, contradicted previous claims by defence minister Manohar Parrikar that the BJP government was the first to conduct surgical strikes on militant bases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“Does it look good for the defence minister of this country to be directly contradicted by the foreign secretary of India?” senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi asked reporters in Delhi.
The strikes were carried out on September 28 but have acquired a political flavor with opposition parties blaming the BJP of attempting to gain electoral mileage out of the army offensive.
Under the UPA, strategy required silence. We aren't blaming Modi Govt for not having silence, but acknowledge past actions: @DrAMSinghvi— INC India (@INCIndia) October 19, 2016
Singhvi said the government shouldn’t have denied that such surgical strikes had taken place before.
“While we support the operations, they should be magnanimous to say this is not the first time that this country has conducted these strikes,” he said.
Singhvi also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had called for no politicization of the army operation last week. “While the PM joins us in saying this issue shouldn’t be politicised, it’s happening under his nose by his colleagues.”
This kind of prevaricating only to score brownie points is unfortunate because it paints the nation in a bad light: @DrAMSinghvi— INC India (@INCIndia) October 19, 2016