That such a major party is falling prey to childish temptations of playing pranks, is a sorry spectacle the nation does not deserve. It deserves an Opposition that acts with a sense of responsibility, and avoids indulgence in loose talk. But then, who is going to tell this to the Congress?
l New Delhi, May 2 (Agencies): The Congress, on Thursday, came out with a list of six anti-terror surgical strikes carried out during UPA rule, asserting that it never tried to take political advantage from military operations. It released the list at a press conference after BJP leader Arun Jaitley took a jibe at the Opposition party, saying its surgical strikes were “invisible and unknown”.
The UPA Government carried out six surgical strikes and also listed two surgical strikes carried out under the previous BJP-led NDA Government of Atal Behari Vajpayee, Congress spokesperson Rajeev Shukla said.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also said, the UPA Government has conducted “multiple strikes” but did not believe in using those to win votes.
l Meanwhile, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore refuted the Congress claims. I was in the Army. I know what happened or did not happen. The Army is with the BJP and Modi. The Army knows what happens”.
THE effort of the Congress party somehow to prove the Modi Government wrong on this or that count appears pathetic, to say the least. In the process, the party is making a mockery of itself and is causing insult not just to the Armed Forces but also to the national spirit.
After stressing (though fruitlessly) that surgical ground strikes (two years ago) or the air strikes (two months ago) did not take place at all, the Congress has now come out with a smart idea of debunking the Modi Government by releasing a list of six surgical strikes under the UPA Government and two such Ops under the Vajpayee Government. The effort is to tell the people that while the Modi Government is abusing the strikes for vote-catching, the Congress did not do so, and also that surgical strikes are nothing great in import. The whole effort looks so pathetic!
But the first response of the Congress to the surgical ground strikes two years ago was of a complete rejection of the idea. The strikes did not take place at all, the Congress meant to say. But then came a real body blow to this posturing when Lt General Hooda, who was the mastermind of the surgical strikes two years ago, joined the Congress party. Now the party realised the terrible mistake it made by denying the reality of the surgical strikes. For, it was Lt General Hooda who was now with them and told them the facts.
Red faced, the Congress has now come up with another argument: Yes, yes, we also carried out surgical strikes, but did not want to speak about those and use those for vote-garnering, as the Prime Minister and his Government were doing.
This behaviour of the Congress party is like that of a cat who closes her eyes as she laps up milk on the sly, believing that nobody is watching. So, first came the denial that surgical strikes ever took place. And now comes the acceptance of the reality of the strikes, with a a list of the strikes its Government had carried out.
Thank you, Mr. Rajeev Shukla for at last admitting that the surgical strikes did take place two years ago. But then Mr. Shukla, don’t you realise that you are making a mockery of yourself and your own party? Perhaps, nobody has ever told you this!
Unfortunately, the current Congress leadership never understood what was at stake when the Uri strikes took place. The nation was shaken by the terror strike, and cried for revenge. Then came the very effective surgical strikes that destroyed precise Pakistani Army positions. Our soldiers returned with unquestionable evidence about what they had achieved. Those strikes achieved restoration of nation’s sense of self-worth. The people cried for revenge and had every right to know what the Government did. And they got what they wanted.
The air strikes, too, had a similar emotional importance. The Pulwama strike shook the nation and the people cried for revenge. Then came the precise attack on Balakote terror camps, making the people proud, making Squadron Leader Abhinandan a national hero for having conducted a terrific operation.
Where was the question of using the episode as a vote-garnering device? What the Government did was only in response to the national mood and demand, and then told the people what happened. In fact, the Congress-UPA Government should have done the same thing so that the nation’s pride would have been boosted.
But the fact of the matter was different; the strikes never took place during the UPA regime, and Union Minister Mr. Rajyavardhan Rathore knows the fact as an Army officer of reasonably high rank then. This clinches the issue.
Yet, let us understand how the Congress is making a fool of itself quite unnecessarily. Let us understand how obsessed its leaders have become about the national support Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and his Government got when the people knew of the successful air strikes at Balakote. Obviously, the Congress party realises that it is likely to miss the bus once again. Hence its running like a headless chicken here and there.
As the current elections near their end in the next couple of weeks, the Congress party will be trying various dirty tricks and nobody would be able to stop that nonsense. But one big mistake it is making is in not trying to understand the actual national mood and emotion. That such a major party is falling prey to childish temptations of playing pranks, is a sorry spectacle the nation does not deserve. It deserves an Opposition that acts with a sense of responsibility, and avoids indulgence in loose talk. But then, who is going to tell this to the Congress?
Of course, We The People!