Amid an ongoing row over Congress leader Digvijaya Singh questioning the authenticity of the 2019 surgical strikes, agitated party leader Jairam Ramesh lashed out at the media on Tuesday, saying all that needed to be said have already been done, and the questions should now be directed at the Prime Minister.
A day after Mr Singh triggered a controversy and the Congress distanced itself from his remarks, Mr Ramesh told the media during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir that all queries related to the surgical strike uproar have been answered by his party and the media needs to aim its questions at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mr Singh, trying to put an end to the row, also said, “I have got the greatest regard for the Defence forces”, as the leaders marched on along with other padayatris.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi resumed from Sitni bypass, Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.
Mr Ramesh refrained from answering any questions and said that “We have answered all the questions.”
“Congress party has said whatever it wanted to. I tweeted yesterday regarding the same. I do not want to say anything other than this,” he said.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Ramesh claimed that even the UPA government had carried out surgical strikes.
“The views expressed by senior leader Digvijaya Singh are his own and do not reflect the position of Congress. Surgical strikes were carried out before 2014 by the UPA government. Congress has supported and will continue to support all military actions that are in the national interest,” Mr Ramesh tweeted.
This comes after Digvijaya Singh said there is no proof of the 2019 surgical strike against Pakistan, while the Centre claims to have carried out the attack.
“They (Centre) talk about surgical strikes and that they have killed so many of them but there is no proof,” said Digvijaya Singh in his address in Jammu on Monday.
On February 14, 2019, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy was attacked by terrorists in Kashmir’s Pulwama, in which 44 soldiers lost their lives. Striking back, on February 26, 2019, Indian Air Force fighter jets targetted an advanced terror training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot.
The day after, Islamabad attempted to target Indian military installations but was thwarted by the IAF.
The BJP has alleged that the opposition party has been “blinded” by its “hate” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has “insulted” the armed forces, while adding that such statements are made at the behest of the top leadership of Congress.
BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said that it has become a “character” of the Congress to make “irresponsible remarks”.
Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia listed out Mr Singh’s alleged controversies and said that he has added “one more to his list of anti-national activities”.
Political analyst and Congress supporter Tehseen Poonawalla came down heavily on Mr Singh’s remark calling it a ‘self-goal’ for the party. He said these are the “same” people who keep on doing the same things that is “destroying” the party.
“The same people keep doing the same things and scoring self-goals. On one hand, the Hon’ble PM is naming 21 islands after those decorated with #ParamVirChakra and on the other hand, on #ParakramDivas, questioning surgical strikes? It’s the same people, every time, destroying the party!” he said in the tweet.
Further questioning Mr Singh’s remarks, Mr Poonawala said Lieutenant General Hooda, who ordered the surgical strikes, joined the Congress.
“Lt. Gen. Hooda who carried out the surgical strikes joined the Congress! Today is #ParakramDivas ! Why would anyone speak about #surgicalstrike at such a time! Not the first time these self-goals are scored !! #BharatJodoYatra,” he further said in the tweet.