Congress’ Sam Pitroda raises questions on Balakot airstrikes, PM Modi hits backhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/congress-sam-pitroda-raises-question-balakot-airstrikes-pm-modi-slams-him-5637915/

Congress’ Sam Pitroda raises questions on Balakot airstrikes, PM Modi hits back

In a series of tweets, PM Modi slammed Congress' Pitroda for questioning the death count in Balakot airstrikes as well as favouring Pakistan while referring to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. "Opposition insults our forces time and again," tweeted PM Modi.

Congress' Sam Pitroda raises questions on Balakot airstrikes, PM Modi hits back
Sam Pitroda alleged that the global media reported that no one was killed while the Indian media’s reporting said 300 terrorists were neutralised. (File)

Sam Pitroda, the Indian Overseas Congress chief, Friday questioned the Balakot airstrikes which were carried out after the Pulwama terror attack and asked the government if they really targeted 300 terrorists. “I would like to know more as I have read in New York Times and other newspapers, what did we really attack, we really killed 300 people?” Pitroda said in an interview to ANI.

Pitroda alleged that the global media reported that no one was killed while a section of the Indian media’s reporting said 300 terrorists were neutralised. “If you say 300 people were killed, we all need to know that, all Indians need to know that. Then comes the global media which says nobody was killed, I look bad as an Indian citizen,” Pitroda said.

Soon after, PM Modi took to Twitter and slammed the Opposition for what he said amounted to insulting the military forces and doubting their capability.

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“Opposition insults our forces time and again. I appeal to my fellow Indians- question Opposition leaders on their statements,” tweeted PM Modi. In a series of tweets, PM Modi slammed Congress’ Pitroda for ‘questioning the death count in Balakot airstrikes’ as well as ‘favouring Pakistan’ while referring to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

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He tweeted, “the most trusted advisor and guide of the Congress President has kick-started the Pakistan National Day celebrations on behalf of the Congress, ironically by demeaning India’s armed forces. Shame!”

Sam Pitroda says talking as citizen, not on behalf of Congress

Sam Pitroda, however, clarified his stand on questioning the Balakot airstrikes and said, “I just said as a citizen I am entitled to know what happened. I am not talking on behalf of party, just speaking as a citizen. I have right to know, what is wrong in it?”

Read | India’s leadership fully capable to act against terror: Ajit Doval

He added, ” I don’t understand what is the controversy here, I am baffled at the response. Shows how people react to trivial matters in India. It is a totally trivial matter. A citizen is just asking a question.”

Congress' Sam Pitroda raises question Balakot airstrikes, PM Modi slams him
Sam Pitroda, however, clarified his stand on questioning the Balakot airstrikes. (File)

Pitroda, in his interview to ANI, commented on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and said that if eight people come and attack, you don’t directly jump and blame an entire nation, to which PM Modi said that the Congress’ most trusted “advisor and guide” kick-started the celebrations of Pakistan National Day on behalf of the whole party.

The Congress leader also said that he did not have much knowledge about the Pulwama terror attack, and added that India could have reacted in the same way after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack but that is not the right approach.

BJP should stop using an individual’s personal opinion to spread venom: Congress

Reacting to Pitroda’s comments, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala took to Twitter and said that the BJP should stop using an individual’s personal opinion.

Read | US warns Pakistan: Another terror attack on India ‘extremely problematic’

“INC has unequivocally said-: Pulwama Terror Attack was a grave National Security failure of Modi Govt, Balakot Air Strike was a shining example of valour of our Airforce, Pakistan’s terror outfits like JEM, LET & others will never succeed in their evil design,” Surjewala tweeted.

Opposition’s hearts beat for terrorists, our beats for Tiranga: Amit Shah

BJP chief Amit Shah, too, hit out at Pitroda for his comments. “Difference between Opposition and BJP is clear. They suspect our army, we are proud of our army. Their heart beats for terrorists, ours beats for the Tiranga. This election, through the power of your vote, do a surgical strike on the Congress culture,” he tweeted.

Unfortunate, says Arun Jaitley

Congress' Sam Pitroda raises question Balakot airstrikes, PM Modi slams him
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while addressing a press conference in New Delhi, said that Pitroda’s comments were “very unfortunate for the nation” (Twitter/BJP Live)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while addressing a press conference in New Delhi, said that Pitroda’s comments were “very unfortunate for the nation” and that our security doctrine had evolved under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” “When the tutor is like this, the student will also turn like this,” he added. He questioned Pitroda’s stand saying it is an ideological battle between those who want to defend India using all strategies at their disposal and those who want India to fight with hands tied back.

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