Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal praised Narendra Modi on Monday for strikes on militant bases across the Line of Control but asked the prime minister to expose Pakistan, which has flatly denied the army operation across the de-facto border.
In a video message, Kejriwal said he saluted the PM for his decisive action in ordering the strikes, his first words of praise for a figure he called a coward and a psychopath just months ago.
“We may disagree on a hundred issues but I salute his willpower in this matter,” the Aam Aadmi Party chief said.
But he urged the prime minister to unmask what he called Pakistan’s “dirty politics” to deny the army strikes and quoted reports by CNN, BBC and other international media that raise doubts about India’s version.
“Pakistan is flustered by the surgical strikes and has resorted to falsehoods to malign India’s global image. I appeal to the PM to expose their lies.”
Kejriwal’s comments came a day after the Pakistani army took a bus full of international journalists to the Line of Control to prove that life in border villages was normal and that there were no “surgical strikes”.
“My blood boiled after watching the report,” Kejriwal said.
Islamabad has repeatedly called India’s claim of destroying seven “terror launchpads” a “fabricated lie”. The two countries are locked in a war of words over the matter.
The video is a departure from an earlier statement by AAP that praised the army action but didn’t mention Modi. Experts had then said the party couldn’t be seen as backing the prime minister at a time it is opposing the BJP in upcoming state polls.
Since it stormed to power in the Capital two years ago, the AAP has repeatedly clashed with the BJP-ruled Centre and especially, Modi, whom it says is trying to rule Delhi by proxy.
Kejriwal’s comments came on a day Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar also backed the PM. “In matters related to terrorism, contradictory political views won’t help. We’re with the Centre,” said Kumar, who had walked out of an alliance with the BJP over Modi being chosen as the prime ministerial candidate.