‘Modi politicised surgical strikes’
Rahul attacks PM after former Army officer’s remarks on the 2016 military action
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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 Prime Minister used the military action for “political capital.”
Lt. Gen. (retired) D.S. Hooda, responding to a question during a panel discussion at the Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh on Friday, had said in hindsight, it would have been better had “we done it [surgical strikes] secretly.”
Response to Uri attack
Lt. Gen. 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, Mr. 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 Lt. Gen. 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.
Lt. Gen. 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,” Mr. Singhvi said.