After lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the surgical strikes carried out on terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday credited RSS teachings for the Indian Army's successful operation.
"A prime minister who hails from Mahatma Gandhi's village, a defence minister from Goa, and surgical strikes... it's quite a different kind of combination, may be the RSS' teachings were the common core," Parrikar said at the 'Know Your Army' event organised at the Nirma University campus, according to ANI.
Manohar Parrikar: Mahatma ke goan se aane wale PM,Goa se Defence Min aur surgical strike,equation was diff,maybe RSS teaching was basic core pic.twitter.com/viDMizWdRu
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 17, 2016
The Congress party, however, was quick to respond to Parrikar's comments and criticised his statement. According to a report in ZEE News, Congress leader Manish Tewari said why is the defence minister "always so over the top."
"Today, he has credited the RSS for operations along LoC. Earlier he had said, like Hanuman, Army did not know their process until he (Parrikar) pointed out to them their strength and capacity. He even said, such an action has never been done before and it was the first surgical strike by the Army," Tewari said while lashing out at the BJP for using the issue to gain political mileage.
Parrikar had earlier equated the Indian Army to Hanuman and made a reference to the Ramayana in which Hanuman crossed an ocean in a single stride after he was reminded about his extraordinary powers by Jambavan.
The defence minister also said the Indian Army was giving a befitting reply to the ceasefire violations made by Pakistan even as he hit out at those seeking proof of the surgical strikes.
"Violations are regularly taking place for the last five-six years, you can take out figures. But the only thing that has changed now is that we are giving effective reply," he said.
On security lapses, Parrikar said, "When you are doing things and if there are lapses in it, then mistakes should be rectified." Surgical strikes, he said, have increased the sensitivity among Indians regarding national security in a very effective way.
Without taking any names, Parrikar also hit out at his opponents for seeking proof of the Army operation and said, "From the day of strike till today, some politicians are seeking proof. When the Indian Army says something, we should believe it. It (Army) is the world's best, professional, brave and having a very high integrity. I do not feel that anybody will seek proof from them (Army) here in Ahmedabad."
"Two good things have happened after the surgical strikes. First thing is except some politicians, every Indian is rising in unison and standing behind our brave soldiers. And the second thing is we (Indians) have acquired sensitivity regarding national security in a very effective way," he said, reported the PTI.
He later said that one thing is clear that his government is serious about national security.
On the infiltration along Gujarat border, he said, "The BSF is tightening security at the border. You also know that this is a difficult area where we cannot put up fences as it is a marshy area. But we will use technology and fill the gaps to ensure no unauthorised person enters our territory."
With inputs from PTI