Modi used sur­gi­cal strikes for po­lit­i­cal cap­i­tal: Rahul

LT GEN DS HOODA HAD SAID THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BET­TER HAD "WE DONE IT (SUR­GI­CAL STRIKES) SE­CRETLY"

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi at­tacked PM Naren­dra Modi on Satur­day over a re­tired Army of­fi­cer’s re­marks that it would have been bet­ter if the 2016 sur­gi­cal strikes were car­ried out se­cretly, al­leg­ing that the PM used the mil­i­tary ac­tion for "po­lit­i­cal cap­i­tal". Lt Gen (retd) DS Hooda, re­spond­ing to a ques­tion dur­ing a panel dis­cus­sion at the Mil­i­tary Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val in Chandi­garh on Fri­day had said in hind­sight that it would have been bet­ter had "we done it (sur­gi­cal strikes) se­cretly".

Hooda was the North­ern Army com­man­der when In­dian troop­ers car­ried out the sur­gi­cal strikes on Septem­ber 29, 2016 across the Line of Con­trol (LoC) as a re­sponse to a ter­ror at­tack in Uri ear­lier that month. Tak­ing to Twit­ter, Gandhi said, "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 (sic)."

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.

Hooda had also said the ini­tial eu­pho­ria about the suc­cess of the sur­gi­cal strikes was nat­u­ral but the con­stant main­te­nance of the hype around the mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion was un­war­ranted.

Congress spokesper­son Ab­hishek Manu Singhvi, at a press con­fer­ence here, al­leged that "this gov­ern­ment is guilty of the most crass and cheap politi­ci­sa­tion of the Army".

"Anonymity of the Army is its big­gest strength and it was main­tained by ev­ery gov­ern­ment ex­cept this one. But we are grate­ful that some amount of truth is com­ing out, and it is com­ing out at the high­est level," he said.

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