Mumbai: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday rejected claims that surgical strikes were undertaken during the UPA regime and asserted that a "major" share of credit for the army action last month goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at two different events, he said all the 127 crore people of India, including "doubting Thomases", and the army share and deserve credit for the operation as it was done by the armed forces and not by any political party.
At the same time, he said that "major share" of credit does go to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government for decision-making and planning.
He also made it clear that claims of having carried out such strikes earlier were wrong as such actions were undertaken by border action teams at local level "without the knowledge" of the government.
"I don't mind sharing the credit, including on surgical strike, with every countryman because it is done by our armed forces and not by any political party. So all Indians, including, those doubting Thomases, can share the credit," he said at a function in Mumbai, adding it will settle the nerves of many.
The Minister said he understands the sentiments of the people who are satisfied after the strikes.
Several political leaders and parties have raised questions on the surgical strike and some have sought proof.
The Congress, while officially supporting the government over the strike, has also said that similar operations were undertaken during its tenure also.
"I have been the Defence Minister for two years. From whatever I have known, there is no surgical strike from previous years. What they are quoting are actions taken by border action teams. These are common actions across the globe and by the Indian army," he said.
Explaining the concept, the Minister said such operations are carried out without official order or prior sanction of the government.
"It is done without the knowledge of anyone. Report is subsequently given," he said underlining the action is taken by the local commander for settling scores.
Parrikar made it clear that unlike earlier, this time it was a surgical strike because "decision was taken and conveyed" and the army did the job well.
"This was an operation which clearly indicates the intent of the government and the nation," he said.
Parrikar said that if the government wanted to take political mileage out of this, then he would have announced it rather than the Director General of Military Operations....