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Goa Congress on Monday criticised the felicitation planned by state BJP unit for Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in Panaji over the surgical strikes by the Army in PoK, saying the BJP was trying to “sell” the anti-terror operation to extract political gains. “What is needed is motivating our armed forces and if the BJP wants to felicitate, it must be our brave soldiers. It is time we stop politicising the strikes,” Congress Goa spokesman Sunil Kawathankar said.
“If Parrikar accepts the felicitation, he should also take responsibility and step down when attacks like in Baramullah happen,” he said. The Congress leader said his party had appreciated the government’s stand and even praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parrikar after the surgical strikes.
“But looking at the way the BJP is opening a shop and selling the act (of surgical strike) is disgusting. Why did not the BJP demand Parrikar’s resignation when Uri attack happened after the Pathankot strike? Shouldn’t the Raksha Mantri be held accountable for the lapses?” he questioned.
On Sunday, Goa Forward party and ruling ally MGP had also expressed their disapproval with the felicitation function planned in Panaji on Tuesday. Goa Forward party had said the BJP was misusing the bravery of soldiers for political gains. MGP Leader Sudin Dhavalikar had said that Parrikar himself should not be accepting such a felicitation.
India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK, after 19 soldiers were killed in the Uri attack.