As Pakistan tried to demolish India’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) through escorted tour of the foreign media, murmurs on proof of the covert operation are being heard among political parties even in poll-bound Punjab.
Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh had questioned evacuation of nearly 1,000 villages near the international border on the day Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh had briefed media on India attacking terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
In his statement on Sunday, he alleged the war hysteria was being created by the BJP with an eye on Uttar Pradesh polls. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal tried to outwit Amarinder by doing the unusual. For a change, Kejriwal did not question Modi but asked him to expose Pakistani propaganda that the strikes never took place.
#AKBacksModiOnPak became the top trend on Monday on Twitter as the Delhi CM invited barbs and praise for crediting Modi or his motive to discredit him.
Back in Punjab, senior AAP leaders said no one in the country can risk questioning the cross-LoC strikes openly for fear of being dubbed “unpatriotic” but there was something “fishy” about the Narendra Modi government’s claims.
“Since no political party will question the army, the NDA government made a military commander brief the media. Why has Modi or a Union minister not given explicit details on cross-LoC strikes so far,” a senior AAP leader said.
Unlike the AAP, the attacks of Congress leaders were more open. Congress MLA Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, whose assembly constituency Fatehgarh Churian falls in the border district of Gurdaspur, said in a WhatsApp message, “Sarhardon pe tanav hai kya? Arre pata karo kahi chunav hai kya (is there tension on the borders? Please find out if elections are approaching), using a line by poet Rahat Indori.
He even asked people of border areas to defy government orders on evacuation. “There is no movement of tanks, ammunition or army, then why are they moving people out of their homes,” he said.
Six Congress MLAs, including Bajwa, also questioned the motive of the Parkash Singh Badal government’s “hasty” evacuation in a statement. “Badal is trying to piggyback on the BJP in the misplaced hope that the hype and hysteria may lead to some electoral benefits for him in Punjab also. He also desperately needs an excuse to wriggle out of the problem of paddy procurement that begins this month and for which they have no money to pay to farmers,” Congress MLAs said in a statement.
But Badal and his emissaries issued statements warning opposition parties to desist from “petty politicking” on the issue.