Congress president Rahul Gandhi Saturday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a retired Lieutenant General, who oversaw operations when Indian troops carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads along the Line of Control, contended that the “overhype” of the 2016 surgical strikes did not help and that “it is not good” when “military operations get politicised”.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi, without naming PM Modi, said, “Mr 36 has absolutely no shame in using our military as a personal asset. He used the surgical strikes for political capital and the Rafale deal to increase Anil Ambani’s real capital by 30,000 Cr. ”
Spoken like a true soldier General. India is so proud of you. Mr 36 has absolutely no shame in using our military as a personal asset. He used the surgical strikes for political capital and the Rafale deal to increase Anil Ambani’s real capital by 30,000 Cr. #SurgicalStrike https://t.co/IotXWBsIih
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 8, 2018
The Congress has been stepping up attack on the BJP-led central government over the controversy pertaining to the purchase of 36 French-manufactured aircraft. Gandhi’s ‘Mr 36’ jibe at Narendra Modi is an apparent reference to the 36 Rafale aircraft deal, which, he has alleged, favoured Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation.
Moderating a discussion on the ‘Role of Cross-Border Operations and Surgical Strikes’ at the ongoing Military Literature Festival, D S Hooda, who was the Northern Army Commander in September 2016 when surgical strikes were carried out in the wake of the Uri attack, said Friday that there was an “attempt to keep a purely military operation in the political domain by selective leaks of videos, photographs etc”.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala thanked Hooda for “exposing the petty politicisation by PM Modi”. “No one can use the valour & sacrifice of our brave soldiers to score cheap political points. Modiji is squarely guilty of compromising National Security & Strategic Interests by unwarranted chest thumping!” he wrote on Twitter.
Responding to a question from the audience, Hooda said in hindsight, it would have been better had the strikes been done secretly.
Army chief Bipin Rawat, meanwhile, said Hooda was “one of the main persons involved in the conduct of these (surgical strike) operations so I respect his words very much.”
“These are individual person’s perceptions so let’s not comment on them.He was one of the main persons involved in conduct of these operations so I respect his words very much,” he told news agency ANI.