‘In a video game’: PM Modi jabs Cong over UPA’s 6 surgical strikes claim
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday fired a riposte at the Congress’s claims that the UPA government had carried out six surgical strikes during its tenure.
“When you have to do it on paper only, or in video games, then whether they (surgical strikes) are 6 or three or 20 or 25, what difference does it make to these people?” the PM said while addressing a rally at Sikar in Rajasthan.
PM Modi’s comments came a day after senior Congress leader Rajiv Shukla, while claiming that the UPA government had carried out six surgical strikes between 2008 and 2014, had given out the dates of the surgical strikes.
WATCH: ‘First protest, now me-too’: Modi mocks Congress’ 6 surgical strikes claim
In the press conference, Shukla had claimed that the first strike was conducted on June 19, 2008, in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhattal sector in Poonch. The second was conducted over August 30-September 1, 2011, in the Sharda sector across the Neelam River Valley in Kel.
A third surgical strike was conducted on January 6, 2013, at Sawan Patra Checkpost; another on July 27 and July 28, 2013, at Nazapir Sector; a fifth one on August 6, 2013 at Neelam Valley; and the sixth one on January 14, 2014, Shukla claimed.
In his address on Friday, PM Modi said, “I think there are people in the Congress who play video games at any age and probably enjoy surgical strikes on video games.”
Saying that initially the Congress had claimed that they had carried out three surgical strikes and then claimed six surgical strikes, PM Modi said, “Soon they will claim that they carried out surgical strikes every day, during their tenure.”
“What kind of strikes were these that the terrorists didn’t get to know of them, the soldiers who conducted them don’t know of the strikes and Pakistan didn’t get to know of them and neither do the people of the country know anything about them,” he said.
In remarks critical of the Congress, he said that even though the world was standing by the Indian Air Force which had conducted the air strike, the Congress had been demanding proof of the strike.
“Pakistan has been crying itself hoarse in front of the world about the air strike, but the Congress isn’t ready to believe it. They have been demanding proof of the air strike,” PM Modi said.
Claiming that the Congress was only obsessed with the PM’s chair, the PM said “they aren’t able to see the bravery of the soldiers who conducted the air strikes”.
On Thursday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, had said that during the UPA era, “Multiple surgical strikes took place... For us, military operations were meant for strategic deterrence and giving a befitting reply to anti-India forces than to be used for vote garnering exercises.”
Ever since the air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad training facility at Balakot in Pakistan after the February 14 Pulwama suicide bombing in which 40 CRPF jawans had lost their lives, the issue of surgical strikes has been a regular refrain in PM Modi’s electoral speeches. He had even asked the first-time voters to dedicate their vote to Balakot.
“I want to ask my first-time voters, can your first vote be dedicated to the soldiers who conducted the Balakot air strikes, in the name of the martyrs who lost their lives in Pulwama,” Modi had said.
The Congress had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission claiming that the PM’s remarks had violated the Model Code of Conduct. However, the EC had green lit the PM’s remarks saying that it had found no violation of the model code of conduct in the PM’s remarks.