'Is all this tweeting a conspiracy?': Ravi Shankar Prasad hits out at Digvijaya, Chidambaram, Sibal for 'questioning' IAF air strikes
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Opposition leaders demanding proof that terrorists had been killed in the 26 February air strikes by the Indian Air Force at Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The BJP leader went on to indicate that the clamour for proof in India was receiving wide coverage in Pakistani media
Prasad made a reference to Sibal's controversial presence at a press conference held on EVM machines in London
Prasad asked the people of the country to direct their questions to Rahul and Sonia Gandhi
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Opposition leaders demanding proof that terrorists had been killed in the 26 February air strikes by the Indian Air Force at Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
On 4 March, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah had also hit out at Opposition parties, alleging that they "raised doubts" on the courage of the armed forces and their demand for proof of the IAF air strike brought a "smile on Pakistan's face".
Waving print-outs of news reports, Prasad focused most of his diatribe on Congress leaders who have led the demand for proof, Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh.
Singh wrote a series of tweets questioning claims made by the BJP government at the Centre over the Balakot air strikes. He notably called the Pulwama terror attack a durghatna, in a tweet. The use of the Hindi word, which many translated as "accident", saw controversy erupt.
On Singh allegedly labelling the terror strike as an "accident", Prasad said the Congress leader has simply revealed "their thinking". "He has reduced himself to such a low level that he will call the most heinous terrorist attack on 45 CRPF jawans an accident," he said.
किन्तु पुलवामा दुर्घटना के बाद हमारी वायु सेना द्वारा की गयी “Air Strike" के बाद कुछ विदेशी मीडिया में संदेह पैदा किया जा रहा है जिससे हमारी भारत सरकार की विश्वसनीयता पर भी प्रश्न चिन्ह लग रहा है।
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) March 5, 2019
Drawing attention to how Pakistan is capable of seeing what is happening in India, the BJP leader went on to indicate that the clamour for proof in India was receiving wide coverage in Pakistani media and was making "Pakistani headlines".
He then went on to berate Kapil Sibal for keeping an eye on "only foreign media" in the light of the lawyer's recent tweet on the issue.
Is international media :
1) New York Times
2) London based Jane's Information Group
3) Washinton Post
4) Daily Telegraph
5) The Guardian
reporting no proof of militant losses at Balakot pro-Pakistan ?
You are guilty of politicising terror ?
— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) March 4, 2019
"Kapil Sibal follows foreign media a lot. He goes to London but oddly does not ask for proof there," Prasad said, ostensibly referring to Sibal's controversial presence at a press conference held on EVM machines and their fallibility in London.
Also in the line of fire was P Chidambaram, who had tweeted on how the number of casualties came to be fixed at 300.
भारतीय वायुसेना के वाइस एयर मार्शल ने हताहतों पर टिप्पणी करने से इनकार कर दिया। विदेश मंत्रालय के बयान में कहा गया कि कोई नागरिक या सैनिक हताहत नहीं हुआ। तो, हताहतों की संख्या 300-350 किसने बताई?
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) March 4, 2019
"Chidambaram ji you speak Oxonian (Oxford) English with a Cantab (Cambridge) accent," Prasad said. Singling out the portion of the former finance minister's tweet that said that the "foreign ministry's statement had said that no civilian or military casualty was reported," Prasad alleged that foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale had spoken only on the civilian death count, which was zero.
Prasad then brandished news reports from Aaj Tak, BBC Urdu and The Hindu, all of which noted loud explosions on the date in the area and described in varying degrees of detail, a possible attack by India.
"Sibal saab, please read Indian newspapers too. Congress leaders do not believe field reporters, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Forces. There is a growing competition between senior leaders of the Congress party as to who can be more vocal in lowering the morale of the security forces," Prasad said. He then "appealed" to Congress leaders to not "reduce the moral courage and prestige of the security forces for their extraneous political interests."
"The BJP would like to know, is all this tweeting a part of a conspiracy because everything that is being shown here is being shown there (Pakistan)," he added.
The Congress was not the only party to be on the receiving end of Prasad's verbal onslaught. He also hit out at Mamata Banerjee who was one of the first to ask for proof of the IAF strike. "Mamata ji, what has happened to you? Did two CRPF jawans from Bengal not attain martyrhood (in Pulwama)?" he asked.
Prasad asked the people of the country to ask questions to Rahul and Sonia Gandhi. "No country in the world has sought any evidence to justify the air strikes. What is Congress up to? It is doing this for votes, it is destroying India's integrity for votes," he added.
Prasad did not mention how many people, terrorists or otherwise, had been killed in the Balakot air strike.
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