New Delhi, May 4: Former chief of Army staff and Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh on Saturday responded to Congress’s claims that six surgical strikes had been carried out during the UPA tenure and accused the Congress of lying.
In a tweet, General VK Singh, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Ghaziabad on a BJP ticket, asked the Congress to provide proof of the surgical strikes that it claimed to have conducted between 2008 and 2014.
General Singh’s riposte to the Congress claims came after senior party leader Rajiv Shukla on Thursday, in a press conference, listed six dates on which he claimed surgical strikes were carried out.
Giving out the dates, Shukla had claimed that the first strike was conducted on June 19, 2008, in Bhattal Sector in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch. The second was conducted from August 30-September 1, 2011, in the Sharda sector across the Neelam River Valley in Kel. He said that a third surgical strike took place on January 6, 2013, at Sawan Patra Checkpost; another on July 27 and July 28, 2013, at Nazapir Sector; a fifth one on August 6, 2013 at Neelam Valley; and the sixth one on January 14, 2014.
In his tweet, General VK Singh said, “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.”
The BJP and the Congress have been in a constant war of words over the surgical strikes conducted by the army as well as the Indian Air Force during the Modi-led BJP government’s tenure.
In an interview to Hindustan Times, former prime minister Manmohan singh had also said that numerous surgical strikes had been carried out during his tenure.
“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,” Manmohan Singh had said.
Responding to the Congress’s claims of having conducted surgical strikes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday had taken a swipe at the Congress saying, “When you have to do it on paper only, or in video games, then whether they (surgical strikes)?are 6 or three or 20 or 25, what difference does it make to these people?”
In his address on Friday, PM Modi said, “I think there are people in the Congress who play video games at any age and probably enjoy surgical strikes on video games.”
Saying that initially the Congress had claimed that they had carried out three surgical strikes and then claimed six surgical strikes, PM Modi said, “Soon they will claim that they carried out surgical strikes every day, during their tenure.”
“What kind of strikes were these that the terrorists didn’t get to know of them, the soldiers who conducted them don’t know of the strikes and Pakistan didn’t get to know of them and neither do the people of the country know anything about them,” he said.
On Saturday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a press conference in Delhi, had accused the prime minister of having insulted the armed forces with this “video game surgical strikes” remark.
“PM Modi insulted Army by saying UPA’s surgical strikes were video games. Army belongs to country, it is not single person’s Army,” the Congress president had said. (Courtesy: HT)