Congress leader Rahul Gandhi distanced himself from party leader Digvijaya Singh's remarks questioning the 2019 surgical strikes. "We have full faith in our Army... I disagree with Digvijay's statement," he said while calling Singh's statement "ridiculous".
During a press conference on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi said the views of the party are above Digvijay Singh's views. He said, "We are a democratic party, we are not a dictatorship, we don't run our party with principals of coercion, we don't appreciate Mr Digvijay's personal views... His views are outline views."
"We have the view that Armed forces do a job, and they do a job exceptionally well. They do not need to be proving proof for anything. I am sorry to say this about a senior leader but he said a ridiculous thing," he said.
On Monday, Congress had said Singh's views do not reflect the position of the party which supports all military actions that are in the national interest.
"The views expressed by senior leader Digvijaya Singh are his own and do not reflect the position of Congress. Surgical strikes were carried out before 2014 by the UPA government. Congress has supported and will continue to support all military actions that are in the national interest," AICC general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said on Twitter.
What Digvijay Singh had said
Addressing a public meeting during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh alleged that the government did not agree to the CRPF request of flying its personnel from Srinagar to Delhi and 40 soldiers sacrificed their lives in Pulwama in 2019 to a terror attack.
"They talk of surgical strikes. They claim to have killed so many people but no proof is given. They are ruling by peddling a bundle of lies," the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, who has often courted controversy with his comments, said.
The remarks of Singh drew sharp criticism from the BJP, which accused the opposition party of "insulting" the armed forces after being "blinded" by its "hate" for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a tweet in Hindi later, Singh said, "From where did the terrorists get 300 kg of RDX in Pulwama incident? DSP Davinder Singh was caught with terrorists but then why was he released? We also want to know about the friendship between the prime ministers of Pakistan and India." In his video message attached to the tweet, Singh said 40 CRPF personnel sacrificed their lives in Pulwama, but this government has not been able to reveal from where three quintals of RDX came.
"Besides, the government has not been able to answer where is DSP Davinder Singh, who was caught involved with terrorists. Why was he let free and why was a case of treason not registered against him? "We would also like to know from the prime minister as to what kind of relations he has with the Pakistani prime minister that both are praising each other. At least, he should answer these questions," the Congress leader said in a video message.
BJP hits out
BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia hit out at the Congress saying such comments show that the Rahul Gandhi-led foot march across the country is Bharat Jodo Yatra only in name while he and his party colleagues are working to "break" the country. "It is essentially "Bharat todo yatra", Bhatia said.
"India will not tolerate if they speak against armed forces. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress hate PM Modi but it seems they have been blinded by the hate to an extent that their dedication to the country has withered away," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)
First Published: Jan 24, 2023 1:40 PM IST