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Congress’ reaction to surgical strike video encouraging Pakistani terrorists: BJP

BJP rejects Congress accusation, says it was unfair of the opposition party to claim that the Narendra Modi government is using the military operation for electoral gains.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2018 15:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Surgical strikes,India Pakistan border,BJP
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. (Picture courtesy: BJP Live/Twitter)

The BJP on Thursday rejected the Congress’ accusation that the Narendra Modi government was politicising the September 2016 surgical strikes by releasing a video of the operation, and alleged that the opposition party was only encouraging Pakistani terrorists by levelling such charges.

The BJP also portrayed the protestations as a sign of insecurity. “The Congress has levelled serious allegations against us. Such allegations show that it is becoming a fringe party,” its Twitter handle quoted Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as saying.

Prasad said it was unfair of the Congress to claim that the government was using the military operation for electoral gains. “Congress is alleging that we are playing politics with the surgical strike. Did we rake up the issue during Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka or other election?” he asked. “Nothing else can be expected of (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi, who criticises the Indian army and asks for proof of the surgical strikes.”

Earlier in the day, the Congress had said that the “blood and sacrifice of India’s brave soldiers” should not become a tool for the BJP to garner votes. Addressing a press conference, party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that while the Modi government is trying to seek credit for the sacrifice and valour of the armed forces, it is doing precious little to provide any “direction or vision” to deal with Pakistan. “Let the ruling dispensation remember that the blood and sacrifice of our brave soldiers cannot become a vote-garnering tool for the Modi government and the BJP,” he told reporters, alleging that the surgical strikes were “shamelessly politicised” by the BJP.

Surjewala also accused the government of meting out “stepmotherly treatment” to the armed forces by not providing them with state-of-the-art equipment and slashing their budgetary allocation.

Prasad, in his response, condemned the opposition party for “questioning the morale, the courage and the commitment” of the armed forces. “I can confidently say that Pakistan must be celebrating the statements made by the Congress,” he said.

The Union minister also rejected Surjewala’s allegation that the government was treating the armed forces in a stepmotherly fashion. “The Congress is questioning our support to the forces. But our budgetary allocation for the armed forces was hiked by 7.5% when compared to the previous government’s proposal,” he said. “Also, the One Rank One Pension was brought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

First Published: Jun 28, 2018 14:27 IST