Union Defence minister Manohar Parrikar credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central government for decision making and planning the surgical strikes – the September 29 military operation which inflicted heavy damages on the terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC). The subject had led to an intense political debate, where opposition parties, particularly the Congress party, accused the Centre of politicising the strikes.
Speaking while inaugurating an exhibition on ‘technolnoly and material sciences’ at Navi Mumbai on Wednesday, Parrikar said that the “doubting Thomases” can share credit for the operation though a “major” share goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the armed forces.
“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,” Parrikar said.
“We in the government and I personally as the defence minister are happy to share the credit with the army, the 127 crore citizens and also those doubting Thomases,” he added in his remarks.
In an apparent dig at the opposition parties, Parrikar said that it will settle the nerves of many and he understands the sentiments of the people who are satisfied after the surgical strike.
The Union Defence minister, at the same time denied that the government leaked information about the surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads in PoK. “There is a difference between covert and overt operations. We have asked the army to share with the nation about their operations,” he said.
The issue had led to a major squabble between the ruling BJP and the principal opposition party, with latter accusing the government of indulging in politics over the soldiers and their sacrifice.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had even faced flak over his controversial remarks, where he had criticised the BJP government at the Centre and attacked Prime Minister Modi of “politicising the surgical strikes”. While the BJP denied of politicising the strikes, it denounced Rahul Gandhi’s statement seeking clarification from the Congress party.
Congress party, meanwhile, said that major surgical strikes were launched against the enemy camp on three occasions when they were in power between 2004 to 2014. Its claims are, however, contested by the current ruling dispensation.
The BJP and its leaders have been stressing that army has now got a strong backing from the political leadership.