Nation Current Affairs 07 Oct 2016 War of words between ...

War of words between Congress, BJP over surgical strikes, parties flay Rahul

Published Oct 7, 2016, 9:18 pm IST
Updated Oct 7, 2016, 9:26 pm IST
Congress leader Kapil Sibal said BJP had created JeM by releasing Masood Azhar, which evoked sharp reaction from the BJP.
Rahul Gandhi came in for flak from a number of political leaders across the spectrum for his remarks that PM Modi is playing politics on the blood of soldiers. (Photo: File)
 Rahul Gandhi came in for flak from a number of political leaders across the spectrum for his remarks that PM Modi is playing politics on the blood of soldiers. (Photo: File)

New Delhi: Political temperature soared on Friday over Rahul Gandhi's 'dalali' remarks, with BJP chief Amit Shah launching a blistering attack on him, saying he "crossed all limits" and "insulted" the army's valour as Congress leader insisted he supported the military action but denounced "political propaganda" on the issue.

The Congress vice president also came in for criticism from Arvind Kejriwal, who himself is facing flack over his remarks on the army's surgical strikes across the LoC, with the Delhi Chief Minister urging political parties to set aside their differences and rally behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"By making 'khoon ki dalali' remarks, Rahul Gandhi has crossed all limits. It was an extreme. By choosing such words, he insulted the bravery of our soldiers and 125 crore people of India," Shah said.

Read: Kejriwal criticises Rahul’s 'dalali' remark against Modi, opposes politicking

Suggesting that those casting doubts on the authenticity of surgical strikes are "anti-India" leaders, he said, "The whole country, BJP and its government are standing firmly behind the army. We do not believe in the comments of anti-India leaders. We believe in the army's bullets."

Union minister Jayant Sinha also ridiculed Rahul Gandhi?s 'dalali' barb at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying all those scams and scandals during the UPA regime reflected who had been doing "dalali".

Replying to a query at a press conference about Gandhi’s remark, Sinha said that "dalali" was clearly visible during the previous UPA regime whenever scandals had emerged.

Referring to Congress leader and former Jharkhand minister Yogendera Sao's involvement in an agitation in Barkagoan, Sinha said one could see whose party (Congress) was doing "dalali" and which party (BJP) was working in the interest of the people.

Read: Modi playing politics with blood of soldiers, says Rahul Gandhi

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who belongs to the BJP, said Gandhi is ‘doing dirty politics’. He said that the BJP condemns those who are ‘demoralising the army, demanding proof for the strikes’.

On the backfoot after his barb, apparently aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress vice president said he "unequivocally" backed the army action.

"I fully support the surgical strikes and I have said so unequivocally, but I will not support using the Indian Army in political posters and propaganda all across the country," the Congress vice president said in a series of tweets.

He had yesterday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of "hiding behind the blood of soldiers" and said that he was politically exploiting their sacrifices.

"Jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strike kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai. {You (Modi) are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong}," Rahul had said.

Read: 'Language used by Cong shameful, full of venom': BJP hits back at Kapil Sibal

Even as Shah insisted that the strikes should not be politicised, he made it clear that BJP will go to people over the issue to "boost the army's morale" and that the military assault underlined the Modi government's zero tolerance policy against terrorism as well as its strong political will to take tough decisions.

Congress' senior leader Kapil Sibal, who was fielded to defend Gandhi, said the party vice president had lauded the Prime Minister when he said "Modi finally acted like a true

PM". "We defend the strikes, but stop this propaganda. It is wrong to claim credit for the sacrifice made by the jawans," he said and attacked Amit Shah for criticising Gandhi.

Sibal said that the history of India did not begin with 2014 and asked the BJP to note that the army had crossed the LoC in 1965, 1971 and 1999 – when PM Modi and Amit Shah were not in power.

"Those who were in jail, got externed, had murder cases against them are telling us that we are at fault," Sibal said.

Sibal further claimed that it was BJP who had created Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) which is accused of terror attacks in Pathankot and Uri, by releasing its chief Masood Azhar in 2001.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad attacked Gandhi, Sibal and the Congress party on the issue in response to Sibal’s comments.

"Rahul Gandhi's comments yesterday were not only regrettable but shameful. The justification today by the Congress crossed all limits of shameful conduct in the public life of the country," Prasad said, assailing Sibal for his comments against Shah that criminal cases were pending against him.

"Not even charges were framed against our party chief. The court said the entire case is a frame-up because of political conspiracy," he said.

"Devotion (in Congress) to Rahul Gandhi is more in order of priority than devotion to the country and defending Rahul is more important than defending the country," Prasad said.

Prasad said that it was fortunate that Sibal had mentioned 1965, when India had gone to war against Pakistan, because the Congress rarely gives any credit to Lal Bahadur Shastri (the PM at that time).

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, whose remarks on the surgical strikes were interpreted as questioning their veracity, was also critical of Gandhi.

"Our soldiers valiantly carried out surgical strikes and demolished terror addresses. I have previously done so and want to congratulate the army once again for this. I strongly criticise Rahul Gandhi's remarks wherein he said army's sacrifices and bravery was 'khoon ki dalali'," he said.

Meanwhile, the NCP, former Congress ally, too criticised Gandhi for his 'dalali' remarks and called the surgical strikes "historic".

"Rahul Gandhi is the leader of the principal opposition party, which is the perhaps the oldest organisation in the world. He should have refrained from using such words," NCP MP D P Tripathi told reporters.

He also hit out at Congress' Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam for questioning the genuineness of the strikes, saying his comments were "anti-national" in nature.

Asserting that the surgical strikes on terror camps were "historic" and a result of astute planning by the government and the army, the party said it was, however, against "chest thumping" and "drum beating" over the issue.

RJD President Lalu Prasad disapproved of Rahul’s remark, saying he failed to put across his views properly.

"Rahul Gandhi ko apni baat theek se rakhni nahi aai (Rahul Gandhi failed to put across his views properly)," Lalu told reporters when asked to comment on Congress leader's 'dalali' remark against the PM in the wake of controversy over the surgical strikes in POK.

Lalu said there was a need to give even stronger punishment to Pakistan.

"I am with the country's army and there is a need to give even stronger injection to Pakistan," he said.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi


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