The BJP accused the Congress of questioning the commitment and courage of the armed forces and lowering its morale, asserting that it is no longer a mainstream party but a fringe player.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also rejected the Congress’ allegation that the Modi government is politicising the surgical strikes, saying if the BJP wanted to draw political mileage, then a video purportedly showing the Army’s operation in PoK would have been released during the polls in states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat or Karnataka.
The Congress is boosting the morale of terrorists, he alleged and giving their patrons in Pakistan a “campaign handle” against India, he said on Thursday.
He said the Army officers connected with the surgical strikes, which were carried out in 2016, have confirmed the video’s authenticity.
Terrorists and their patrons in Pakistan would be the happiest people with the statement of the opposition party, he said.
The Congress has become so desperate with its repeated losses in elections that it has been repeatedly questioning the commitment and courage of our armed forces, he said.
“It is boosting the morale of terrorists and breaking the morale of our forces. To what extent the Congress will stoop for votes?” he asked.
Questions like why the video was released now and where it came from are not relevant, Prasad said and asked the opposition party to answer if it considers the video real or not and approves of the surgical strikes or not.
“It is clear from its repeated comments that the Congress is no longer a mainstream party but a fringe player, a fringe party in the national politics,” Prasad told reporters and added that it does not look like a party which ruled the country for 60 years with one family at the helm for over 50 years.
He said, its chief Rahul Gandhi had earlier used the barb of ‘khoon ki dalali’ against the government following the surgical strikes and his mother Sonia Gandhi had used ‘maut ke saudagar’ jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
Rahul Gandhi has got the “right training” and is not expected to behave any differently, Prasad said.
He also referred to recent comments of Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz to attack the party.
The LeT had approved of Azad’s comment that the Army kills more civilians than terrorists in Kashmir with its “certificate” and the Congress will soon get a similar certificate, he said mockingly.
The Law Minister also targeted the Congress for equating Modi with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, calling it “shameful” and a reflection on the opposition party’s “political decline.”
Likening a global leader like Modi with Aurangzeb is a new low, he said. This is shameful and height of political decline, he added.
Prasad said the Congress had also attacked the Vajpayee government following India’s win in the Kargil war as, he claimed, the opposition party has the tradition of targeting the morale of the armed forces.
He also rejected the Congress’ charge that the government was meting out “step-motherly treatment” to the armed forces by not providing them with state-of-the-art equipment and slashing their budgetary allocation.
Prasad said the budgetary allocation for the defence sector at Rs 2.95 lakh crore was the highest this year and cited several measures, including implementation of the OROP, casualty welfare funds and national war museum, to underscore the government’s commitment to the armed forces.
The Congress is in problem because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shut the door on commissions and fixers in defence deals and it cannot do without them, he alleged.
The Modi government’s norm is that what has to happen will happen and what has not will not, irrespective of whatever one does, Prasad said. PTI