Credit Army, cheer govt too for strikes: Par­rikar Nar­row roads break Dipa Kar­makar’s BMW dream

LoC AC­TION Min­is­ter dis­misses claims of pre­vi­ous pre­ci­sion hits, Oppn hits back

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Man­ish K Pathak and Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com Ut­pal Parashar let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The army de­serves full credit for last month’s sur­gi­cal strikes on mil­i­tant shel­ters across the Line–of-Con­trol with Pakistan but the gov­ern­ment must also be cheered for tak­ing the bold de­ci­sion, de­fence min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar said on Wed­nes­day.

Par­rikar’s com­ments came a day af­ter HT re­ported that he was set to be­come the BJP’s star cam­paigner for next year’s elec­tions in Ut­tar Pradesh, where the party wants to show­case the gov­ern­ment’s “de­ci­sive­ness” in hit­ting mil­i­tants in­side Pak­istanoc­cu­pied-Kash­mir.

The de­fence min­is­ter also said In­dia did not carry out any sur­gi­cal strikes in the past, re­fut­ing claims by the Congress that its gov­ern­ments had or­dered such pre­ci­sion attacks but never made those pub­lic to claim credit.

“What prob­a­bly they are quot­ing are ac­tions taken by bor­der ac­tion teams, which is a com­mon prac­tice across globe in­clud­ing the In­dian Army,” Par­rikar said at a city event, adding such covert op­er­a­tions were not or­dered by the gov­ern­ment. De­fence min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar look­ing at ex­hibits dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the MET+HTS 2016 ex­hi­bi­tion at Vashi, Navi Mum­bai, on Wed­nes­day.

Ear­lier in the day, he set off a storm of protest from op­po­si­tion groups by sug­gest­ing that, while the Army de­served praise for the Septem­ber 29 strikes, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi should get most of the credit for or­der­ing the attack, and he him­self should get some of it.

“I don’t mind shar­ing the credit,

in­clud­ing on sur­gi­cal strike, with ev­ery coun­try­man be­cause it is done by our armed forces and not by any po­lit­i­cal party.

“We in the gov­ern­ment and I per­son­ally as the de­fence min­is­ter are happy to share the credit with the army, the 127 crore cit­i­zens and also those doubt­ing Thomases,” he said at an­other func­tion.

His com­ments come amid op­po­si­tion claims that the gov­ern­ment was try­ing to lever­age the mil­i­tary ac­tion for po­lit­i­cal gains in states go­ing to elec­tions early next year, prompt­ing Modi to ask his min­is­ters and party lead­ers to de­sist from chest-thump­ing.

For ace gym­nast Dipa Kar­makar, mak­ing the deathde­fy­ing Pro­dunova som­er­sault and chal­leng­ing the world’s best at the Olympics was rel­a­tively eas­ier than try­ing to ma­noeu­vre her swanky new BMW through the nar­row roads of Agar­tala.

Now, the Kar­makars are plan­ning to re­turn the mean ma­chine and seek a re­place­ment — a car which can be driven around Tripura’s cap­i­tal.

Dipa, 23, was gifted the car by the Hy­der­abad Bad­minton As­so­ci­a­tion as a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for her feat — the first In­dian gym­nast to par­tic­i­pate in the Olympics event though she (From left) Shut­tler PV Sindhu, gym­nast Dipa Kar­makar, wrestler Sak­shi Ma­lik, for­mer crick­eter Sachin Ten­dulkar and Sindhu’s coach P Gopic­hand with the BMWs in Hy­der­abad.

nar­rowly failed to win a medal af­ter fin­ish­ing fourth.

BMW’s brand am­bas­sador in In­dia, for­mer crick­eter Sachin Ten­dulkar, had handed over the car keys to Dipa along

with two medal win­ners, shut­tler PV Sindhu and wrestler Sak­shi Ma­lik. Sindhu’s coach P Gopic­hand was also given a BMW car.

BACHCHAN KUMAR

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