With the BJP highlighting the issue of nationalism in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress Party on Thursday came out with a list of six anti-terror surgical strikes carried out during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule, asserting that it never tried to take political advantage from military operations.
The Congress released the list at a press conference
During the press conference, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla went on to list the dates when the strikes were carried out.
The first strike, according to the dates Rajiv Shukla gave out, was conducted on June 19, 2008, in Bhattal Sector in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch. The second was conducted from August 30-September 1, 2011, in the Sharda sector across the Neelam River Valley in Kel, ANI quoted him as saying.
He said that a third surgical strike took place on January 6, 2013, at Sawan Patra Checkpost; another on July 27 and July 28, 2013, at Nazapir Sector; a fifth one on August 6, 2013 at Neelam Valley; and the sixth one on January 14, 2014.
This is not the first time that the Congress has said that surgical strikes were conducted during the UPA tenure. However, this is the first time that exact dates have been given out by the Congress for the surgical strikes that it claims were carried out during the UPA tenure. The exact dates are
1. Bhattal sector in Poonch (June 19, 2008)
2. Sharda sector, across Neelam River Valley In Kel (August 30-September 1, 2011)
3. Sawan Patra checkpost (January 6, 2013)
4. Nazapir sector (July 27-28, 2013)
5. Neelam Valley (August 6, 2013)
6. One on December 23, 2013
“We never did chest thumping. The one who did only one surgical strike is patting his back. Neither Dr Manmohan Singh nor Vajpayee did a press conference on it,” Shukla told the press.
The UPA was in power between 2004 and 2014. Before this, the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA government had ruled between 1999 and 2004.
BJP’s response to the claim made by Congress
The BJP on Thursday said the Congress”s claim of carrying out surgical strikes during its 10-year tenure under former prime minister Manmohan Singh was “fraudulent and farcical”, alleging that the grand old party was “guilty” of not allowing the punitive action against terrorists.
The Congress party and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have been engaged in a war of words over the surgical strikes ever since the Narendra Modi government conducted air strikes inside Pakistan on February 26 this year.
It is to be noted that the BJP-led government had conducted its first surgical strike on September 29 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to avenge the terror attack at an Army camp in Uri.
Of late, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his election rallies, has been mentioning the recent air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp at Balakot in Pakistan after the February 14 Pulwama suicide bombing. This has not gone down too well with the Congress which has often claimed that surgical strikes were conducted during its tenure as well.
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