The politics over surgical strikes refuses to die as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday rejected Congress’s claim of carrying similar operations during the UPA rule saying no such actions happened in previous years as per his knowledge.
“I have been the Defence Minister for two years. From whatever I have known, there is no surgical strike from previous years. What they are quoting are actions taken by border action teams. These are common actions across the globe and by the Indian army,” he said.
While Congress demanded an apology, Parrikar asserted that a “major” share of credit for the army action last month goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at two events in Mumbai, Parrikar said all the 127 crore people of India, including “doubting Thomases”, and the army share and deserve credit for the operation as it was done by the armed forces and not by any political party.
At the same time, he said that “major share” of credit does go to Modi and the government for decision-making and planning.
The Congress soon hit back at Parrikar saying defence minister’s statement undermines the sacrifice of Army and indulges in “blatant politicisation” of the issue.
“Mr Parrikar, Indian Army deserves all credit but why mislead the people and undermine army’s sacrifices by denying earlier surgical strikes? “Operation Ginger in 2011 was a large-scale surgical strike. Why is Manohar Parrikar quiet on army’s valour? Is (it) not blatant politicisation?” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked.
He asked “if army deserves full credit (for the recent surgical strike), why are ‘avengers of Uri’ posters depicting Modiji as Lord Rama being plastered in poll-bound states?”
Hitting out Parrikar in a series of tweets, Surjewala said he is indulging in “ultimate political hypocrisy”. “The ultimate political hypocrisy; post surgical strike, Modi Sarkar cut disability pensions for ‘combat injury’ to half.
“Is Modi Govt giving credit to Army by denying OROP, Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, by refusing to acknowledge and honor commitments? (sic)” he asked.
The Aam Aadmi Party also accused Parrikar of “belittling” the valour of the Indian Army, saying his statement over surgical strikes shows that he is indulging in low-grade politics.
The party also claimed that the BJP was trying to encash on the issue ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
“There is no better example of low-grade politics. By issuing such statement, Parrikar is belittling the achievements of the Indian Army, which has had a proud history of valour and sacrifice,” AAP’s Delhi unit convener Dilip Pandey said.