'Sacrifice of soldiers can't become vote-garnering tool': Congress warns nation against BJP over surgical strike videos

The videos of surgical strikes, released by a few TV channels, have initiated a different political slugfest. A day after the videos were released, a former Indian Army officer confirmed the veracity of the footage.Lt General DS Hooda (retd), former Northern Army Commander who was directly in-charge of the surgical strikes said,"The videos are real. I can confirm that." "When the surgical strikes happened, my view was that the videos should have been released as proof. It is good that they have come out now."

Congress did not miss a chance to slam the Narendra Modi government and claimed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was using the sacrifice of soldiers to garner votes. "The BJP government is using the slogan of 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' and trying to win votes through Surgical strikes." said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

"Blood and sacrifice of brave soldiers cannot become political vote garnering tool for Modi government," said Surjewala. He compared Modi to previous prime ministers, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh and questioned whether Modi's predecessor boasted of the success of army operations during their tenure.

He also accused the government of meting out “step-motherly treatment” to the armed forces by not providing them with state-of-the-art equipment and slashing their budgetary allocation. “The doublespeak of the Modi government and the BJP stands is reflected in the step motherly treatment of our armed forces, both in terms of providing for security apparatus as also in slashing the budgetary allocation. Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen. Sarath Chand, was forced to publicly state that 68 percent of all equipment is 'vintage',” he said.

"Is the Modi government endangering our 'security infrastructure'? Is the Modi government guilty of putting the life of our soldiers in danger? Is the Modi government using our 'soldiers' as 'political fodder' - using their sacrifice for vote garnering?,” he asked.

Surjewala went on to warn the nation, that when the Modi government starts failing and Amit Shah's BJP starts losing, they will start misusing the valour of the Army for their political benefit. "The valour of the army is a thing for the country to be proud of. It should not be used as a tool to garner votes," he said.

"On one hand, Modi government and the BJP indulge in seeking credit for the sacrifice of our soldiers and surgical strike, yet the government has utterly failed to provide the direction, the vision and the policy for dealing with Pakistan and checkmating Pak-sponsored terrorism. No wonder apathy and incapacity of the Modi government has resulted in the sacrifice of 146 soldiers, more than 1600 ceasefire violations by Pakistan and 79 terrorist attacks post September 2016," he said. Surjewala praised the then Congress government and said that the then president Sonia Gandhi and the then vice-president Rahul Gandhi were the first leaders to extend their support and appreciate the government for the surgical strike. Surjewala also tweeted about the surgical strike. He lauded the Armed Forces but criticised the government for politicising it through 'headlines management'.

Nearly two years after the Indian Army conducted "surgical strikes" on terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC) in September 2016, video clips have surfaced that show destruction of bunkers and other military constructions as well as casualties. TV channels broadcast the videos on Wednesday evening and claimed they accessed it from official sources. The footage was reportedly shot from drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) , and was shot on thermal imaging cameras used by the army to monitor the operation.

As reported by Zee News, which accessed the videos from the Indian Army, the surgical strikes was monitored from New Delhi by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, then army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Pakistan, however, denied that any such strikes had taken place, and instead maintained that it was "unprovoked firing" by India that killed two of its soldiers.


Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 11:44 AM

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