Congress slams BJP for ‘politicising’ surgical strikes

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) The Congress on Friday slammed the BJP for “politicising” the cross-border surgical strikes by the Indian Army, and accused BJP President Amit Shah of using the issue for political gains.

“The people who have been to jail and who have murder cases against them are pointing fingers at others,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said at a press conference here, without naming anyone.

“We never imagined the Bharatiya Janata Party will stoop so low. They are questioning the roots of (Congress Vice-President) Rahul Gandhi; they are questioning Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, who laid their lives for the country,” he said.

Sibal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should stop Shah from making such remarks.

“Modiji should speak and stop his party president from making such statements. But how will he do that? He himself is benefiting out of this,” the Congress leader said.

“Pakistan is a patient; it has cancer; it needs chemotherapy. But one surgical strike will not cure the cancer. Give up this political propaganda and treat the cancer,” he said.

Lashing out at the BJP government, the Congress leader also said that the Indian Army had earlier also carried out surgical strikes across the LoC.

“Former Army chiefs have also said that the our armed forces have carried out such strikes in the past. So stop politicising the issue through posters and let the army do their job of safeguarding the borders of the country,” Sibal said.

“We never politicised the surgical strike issue during our time, because these kind of works are done silently and without any politics involved in it,” Sibal said.

“Today BJP president said that he will take this surgical strike to every home, thus he made it clear that they will do politics over it,” the Congress leader added.

Sibal also said that the Election Commission in September 2013 had slammed the BJP for using the Army in its poll posters. “The Election Commission made it clear that the armed forces cannot be used for political gains as they are the guardian of the borders,” he added.

Taking a dig at the BJP, Sibal said, “Today these attacks happened as they (BJP) released Jaish-e-Mohammad militant Maulana Masood Azhar.”

“If BJP hadn’t released Maulana Masood Azhar then the JeM wouldn’t have taken birth,” Sibal alleged.

Sibal also hit out at BJP and said, “Today you are accusing Congress for terrorism in the country, which has stood by its forces for the last 67 years.”

He accused the BJP of slashing the disability pension of army personnel to Rs 27,000, from the earlier Rs 67,000.

Sibal said the BJP government should apologise for saying it was the first time that Indian armed forces had conducted surgical strikes and it was disrespect to the army.

“Its a disrespect to the army, the BJP must apologise to the army,” the Congress leader said.

Slamming Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Prime Minister and Defence Minister have ample time to attend ceremonies in Goa and Agra, but they have no time to meet the families of the martyred soldiers.”

The Congress also accused the BJP of helping their friends to do businesses with Pakistan, and said, “Who is in talks with Pakistan to provide power? Who is doing business deals with Pakistan?”

The Congress also played a video clip, featuring a tweet of Modi in September 2013 questioning the preparedness of the Indian Army and a video clip of him comparing the job of a businessman as being more risky than of soldiers.

On Thursday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of doing “dalali” (trading) over the blood being shed by Indian soldiers.

In response, Shah on Friday lambasted Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “playing politics” over the surgical strikes.



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