After blaming the BJP for ‘chest thumping’ over the surgical strikes conducted by the security forces, Congress senior leaders have come out claiming that 6 surgical strikes had been conducted during the Congress era.
In an Interview given to Hindustan times, Ex-PM Manmohan Singh had said “Let me remind you that our armed forces were always given a free hand to operationally respond to every threat. Multiple surgical strikes took place during our tenure too. For us, military operations were meant for strategic deterrence and giving a befitting reply to anti-India forces than to be used for vote garnering exercises. In the past 70 years, a government in power never had to hide behind the valour of our armed forces. Such attempts to politicize our forces are shameful and unacceptable.”
Senior Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, going a few steps ahead, has even given the dates on which these ‘strikes’ were conducted. Speaking at a press conference, Shukla said six surgical strikes were conducted when the Congress-led UPA was in power.
Listing out the strikes, Rajeev Shukla claimed that first ‘strike’ was conducted on June 19, 2008 in Bhattal Sector in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch, second on Aug 30-September 1, 2011 in Sharda Sector across Neelam River Valley in Kel, third on January 6, 2013 at Sawan Patra Checkpost, Fourth on July 27-28, 2013 at Nazapir Sector, fifth on August 6, 2013 at Neelam Valley and sixth surgical strike on January 14, 2014.
Earlier Former DGMO Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia in an interview given to NDTV had made comments about the ‘strikes conducted’ during UPA era he said “Earlier strikes, they were not even strikes, they were cross-border operations done at the local level.”
Commenting on the surgical strikes that took place in 2016 and Congress’ attempts to question the security forces over them he added:
“In fact, these (surgical strikes) have given us the returns that we wanted and it had different ramifications — that is why there is so much political hullabaloo around it. I don’t think we should question the Army, I don’t think it is right. The DGMO of the Indian Army and the Army chief should not be questioned on it,”
General (R) Bikram Singh has also made comments which challenge claims made by the Congress; Speaking to India Today he has said “I don’t think earlier attempt has been made by Indian Army. It must be hearsay”
— India Today (@IndiaToday) September 30, 2016
Another Senior Retired General Ved Prakash Malik, who was the army chief during the Kargil war has also commented on the developments and debunked the claims made by senior Congress leaders.
“Cannot think of any such incidents where political leadership asked armed forces to carry out such a strike or gave assent to such plans by armed forces except one in 1984: to pre-empt Pakistan Army and occupy Soltoro range in Siachen Sector.”
Cannot think of any such incidents where political leadership asked armed forces to carry out such a strike or gave assent to such plans by armed forces except one in 1984: to pre-empt Pakistan Army and occupy Soltoro range in Siachen Sector.
— Vedmalik (@Vedmalik1) May 3, 2019
Retired general and former chief of army staff, VK Singh has also taken aim at the frivolous claims made by the Congress. He tweeted “Congress has a habit of lying. Will you please let me know which ‘So called Surgical Strike’ are you attributing to my tenure as COAS? Am sure you must have hired some Coupta to invent another story .”
Congress has a habit of lying. Will you please let me know which ‘So called Surgical Strike’ are you attributing to my tenure as COAS. Am sure you must have hired some Coupta to invent another story .
— Chowkidar Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) May 4, 2019
Senior retired army men debunking the claims made by Congress only point towards the sheer desperation of Congress to save its face from another embarrassing defeat in the 2019 General elections. Questions over the timings of these claims made by the Ex-PM also highlights the hypocritical mindset of Congress’ top brass. Congress which has been targeting PM Modi over Balakot Strikes and has even gone to the lengths of questioning the security forces has itself in a blatant attempt tried to garner political steam from these claims. These general elections have been seeing desperate attempts from the Congress to save political ground from the BJP, and these meek attempts just add to the list.