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Rajnath Singh dismisses Congress' claim of six surgical strikes during its tenure, says first such operation happened in 2016

Gurugram: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday attacked Congress over its claim of six surgical strikes having been conducted during the UPA rule, saying an RTI has revealed that first such operation was carried out in 2016 during the prime ministership of Narendra Modi."According to an RTI, the first surgical strike happened in 2016," he said, addressing a rally.

"Congress said that they also did surgical strikes. Who stopped you from announcing these. Do you feel ashamed of praising the armed forces? Why you did not tell this to the people of India. Is the government not answerable?" the BJP leader said. Earlier this month, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla had claimed that six surgical strikes were conducted during former prime minister Manmohan Singh's tenure from 2004 to 2014. Singh also slammed Congress over its poll promise to scrap the sedition law, saying, "The party wants to remove the statute to please a few people".

 Rajnath Singh dismisses Congress claim of six surgical strikes during its tenure, says first such operation happened in 2016

File image of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. News18

"Congress says that the sedition law is irrelevant and bad but you people tell me that if someone is involved in such practices, should they be spared? They are doing this to favour a few people. I want to assure you that if we come back to power, we would make this law so strong that no such person can be spared," he said.

The party, in its manifesto, has made the poll promise to scrap the sedition law and also strike down certain provisions of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) if voted to power. On the achievements of the NDA government, Singh said, "The Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna (PMAY) was launched by Congress. During its rule from 2008-2014, they gave 25 lakh houses to the people while our government from 2014-2018 handed over 1.30 crore houses to the public."

The BJP-led government in its five-year tenure provided 13.5 crore gas connection as compared to a total of 12 crore such connections by the previous government, the Home Minister said. Singh said, "During the tenure of the previous governments, everyone and anyone could threaten us. It is India's culture that we have never attacked anybody in the first go and we never occupied even a single inch land belonging to any other country but it is not our cowardice. We will not trouble anyone but if someone troubles us we will not leave them either," Singh said.

Referring to the Pulwama attack, he said, "We all know what Pakistan did in Pulwama. The prime minister held a meeting immediately after the incident, took a decision and gave relevant orders following which you saw our Air Force striking terrorists deep into Pakistani territory." "Congress and other opposition parties want to know how many terrorists were killed. I want to ask do make forces count bodies," he said. "Being the home minister of the country, I want to say the intelligence department is under me only. I want to assure you that whatever operation happened it was based on credible intelligence input," Singh said

"They say that the security forces killed, then why the credit is going to the prime minister. I am asking that when Indira Gandhi in 1971 divided Pakistan into two halves and Bangladesh was formed, Atal Bihari Vajyapee as an opposition member of Parliament lauded Indira Gandhi. This should be the attitude of the opposition," he said. "If Indira Gandhi can be praised, then why Modi cannot be hailed for the post-Pulwama operation," he added.

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Updated Date: May 09, 2019 09:32:04 IST