New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The Congress on Monday hit out at Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar for his comment that “RSS ideology inspired surgical strikes”, and said that he is a “national embarrassment” and “doesn’t derserve to hold his portfolio”.
Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar on Monday said the RSS ideology inspired Prime Minister Narendra Modi and him to carry out the September 29 surgical strikes across the Line of Control.
It was not possible that a Prime Minister from the land of Mahatma Gandhi and a Defence Minister from Goa with a common RSS orientation would not take such a strong decision, he said.
The minister was addressing students and teachers of Nirma University here during a ‘Know Your Army’ programme.
The minister said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh teachings were at the back of the mind of the Prime Minister and him while ordering the surgical strikes on the terrorist launch pads.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said: “Why is the Defence Minister always so over the top? Today, he has gone and credited the RSS for operations along the LoC.”
“What is wrong with this gentleman? And this is not the first time this has happened. Earlier, he said that ‘like Hanuman’ the army did not know their prowess until I pointed out to them their strength and capacity. Then they blame others for politicising the operations along the LoC,” he added.
Asked if the Congress would demand Parrikar’s resignation, Tewari said: “Resignation can be demanded from somebody who has morality. By seeking his resignation, we don’t intend to waste our time.”
The Congress asked a few questions to the BJP and Parrikar, including did Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri go to an RSS Shakha? Did Defence Minister Yashwantrao Chavan go to a RSS Shakha? Did Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who created Bangaldesh, go to a Shakha? Did Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram go to a Shakha? Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw or General J.S. Aurora, did they go to a Shakha?
“Manohar Parrikar does not deserve to be the Defence Minister. This man is a national embarrassment. And the operations along the LoC were targeted more for domestic consumption rather than changing the behaviour of the deep-State in Pakistan.”
Asked if the Congress party’s line on providing evidence on surgical strikes is same as its senior leader P. Chidambaram, Tewari said: “No one in the Congress has ever asked for evidence with regard to the surgical strikes. In fact, surgical strike is a wrong terminology — the terminology used by the DGMO is ‘Operations along the LoC’.”
“If the army institutionally stands up and makes a statement, we believe that statement, as we believe the statement which has been made by former Chief of Army General Bikram Singh that such operations were carried out in the past,” he added.