The government and the Opposition went head to head over the surgical strikes across the Line of Control that took place on September 29.
The Opposition demanded that the government “call Pakistan’s bluff” and give evidence of the strikes after several news reports in the international media, whose representatives were taken to the Line of Control by the Pakistani authorities, cast doubt on the strikes.
The government accused the Opposition of lowering the morale of the armed forces.
In fact, the Congress disclosed that three such strikes were conducted by the Army when the UPA was in power — on September 1, 2011, July 28, 2013 and January 14, 2014 — to drive home its point that the government needed to remove the doubts about the action. This came after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s video message to Narendra Modi on Monday. In it, he “saluted” the Prime Minister but asked the government to refute the reports in international media that questioned the attacks.
The Opposition demand to call Pakistan’s bluff and provide evidence on the cross-LoC ‘surgical strikes’ evoked a strong response from Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“The question being asked in a way raises questions over the action of the Army. I must say that if Pakistani media are saying something, why an India Chief Minister [Kejriwal] is being influenced [by it] and seeking proof,” he asked.
“Arvind Kejriwal, you are in the headlines of Pakistani newspapers. Do you know it? At a time when the whole nation is speaking in one voice, a Chief Minister has said something that has given the Pakistani media and people a chance to question the Indian Army’s action.
‘Call the bluff’
By the evening, the Congress held a press conference.
It asked the government to call “Pakistan’s bluff to clear the doubts being raised about the strikes.”
All-India Congress Committee general secretary Randeep Surjewala, disagreeing with his colleague Sanjay Nirupam’s statement that the strikes could be fake, said: “The government should stop politicising the feat of our armed forces.”