Congress says surgical strikes took place under UPA, too

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) The Congress party on Monday said that surgical strikes were carried out even duing the UPA regime, but it is first time that the government has taken “political ownership” of the military action.

Asked, if this was the first surgical strike of such proportions, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said: “The thinking that this is the first time India Army has retaliated against a terror attack is not correct. It would be a dis-service to our forces.”

“Each situation is not similar. In the wisdom of the UPA, the political ownership of such actions of the army was not considered necessary,” he added.

The Congress spokesperson further said: “Our armed force have always responded as per the need or provocation when it came to defending our country. We must not ever be made to believe that in the past, the Indian forces were taking a beating without responding effectively.”

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Sharma also said that the details of the earlier actions were with the defence establishment. “In the past these decisions were taken by the army. They would have the complete endorsement and support of the government of the day,” he added.

“We have an elected government in office, which has taken the ‘political ownership’ of the surgical strike,” he added.

Asked, why didn’t the Congress government support these strikes when they were in power, Sharma said: “We were a different government, different political party. The responses and tactical actions are always taken by the Indian armed forces.

“The present government thought that it had become necessary to claim political ownership. We have not questioned their decision. We hope they have done so after correct assessment,” he said.

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