Challenging the Congress over their claim of carrying out six surgical strikes under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s tenure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said first they mocked the strikes, then protested against them, and now they say ‘me too’. While addressing a public rally in Rajasthan’s Sikar, PM Modi said, “What kind of strikes were these of which neither the terrorists knew, nor Pakistan knew, or even Indians didn’t know about?”
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“When the surgical strikes happened for the first time, they (Congress) refuted the claims saying ‘there is nothing like that. The army does this daily’. Only Congress can carry out surgical strikes on paper while sitting in an air-conditioned room,” he said.
In a press conference on Thursday, Congress spokesperson Rajeev Shukla gave detail of six instances of surgical strikes under the Congress regime.
“6 surgical strikes were conducted during the Manmohan Singh government. One was conducted on June 19, 2008 in Bhattal Sector in J&K’s Poonch, one from Aug 30-September 1, 2011 in Sharda Sector across Neelam River Valley in Kel, another one was carried out on January 6, 2013, at Sawan Patra checkpost; one on July 27 and July 28, 2013, at Nazapir Sector; August 6, 2013, at Neelam Valley; and one on January 14, 2014,” Shukla had said.
PM Modi also said, “When you carry out a surgical strike on paper, or in a video game, what difference does it make if it is done 3 times, or six times, or 20 or 25 times?”
Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore Thursday too reacted on Congress’ claims and said he “was in the army and knows what happened and what did not”. “We were in the Army. We know what happened and what did not. The entire forces are standing up with the BJP and Modi ji today. It’s not without reason. We know what happens,” Rathore said.
Meanwhile, while addressing a rally in Bikaner, PM Modi said that only a strong government is capable of taking decisions on surgical strikes and air strikes. He also accused the Congress of failing to stop the country’s share of water flowing into Pakistan, reported news agency PTI.
He also said that Congress did not try to acquire the property of those who went to Pakistan after the partition and delayed it due to vote bank, PTI reported.
The issue of surgical strikes by the Indian Army has been a part of BJP’s election campaigns. The party has accused former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of going soft on issues of national security, citing the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).