Three phrases have been doing the rounds in media for some time now. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, controversial statements and surgical strikes– are the ones. Opposition parties also have been using those to take swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government. Congress on Monday hit out at Parrikar for giving credit to RSS for the decision to conduct surgical strike across LoC in PoK. “Defence Minister is quick to credit the RSS for ops along LoC. This leads to two inescapable conclusions,” party’s national spokesperson Manish Tewari said. He also flayed Parrikar by calling him a “national embarrassment” and claimed the former Goa Chief Minister “doesn’t deserve to be the Defence Minister.”
Earlier in the day, Parrikar said, “I wonder that a Prime Minister from land of Mahatma Gandhi and a defence minister from Goa and surgical strikes, the situation was quite… maybe the RSS teachings was there, but this was very different kind of combination.”
Speaking at a “Know Your Army” event organised at the Nirma University campus, the Defence Minister said both the Prime Minister and he have been facing a tough situation when people began questioning them after the Uri attacks. “After 18 soldiers were martyred in Uri we had to face a lot of difficult situations. Till the 29th of September, the Prime Minister was targeted on the social media and in other media. Some share of the criticism was also directed towards me,” Parrikar added.
He also slammed “some politicians” for seeking proof of the surgical strkes. The defence minister while speaking to a gathering largely consisting of students and faculty members, said, “Some people have been seeking proof (of surgical strikes)… Some people will never get convinced even if solid proof is given… When Indian Army does something we should remember that this is one of the world’s best, professional, brave and an army with high integrity.”
Notably, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue M.G. Vaidya on had supported Parrikar’s statement of sharing credit for the surgical strike with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and added that co-ordination between the army and leaders are important to make any work successful. “The contribution of the success of surgical strike goes to the Indian army, but the leaders who guided them there approval was also required. Had the leaders not give them permission, then the army would not have been able to carry out the work. In the same way, if the leader gives permission and the army is not ready, then also the work will not be carried out. They both worked in co-ordination then only the surgical strike was successful,” Vaidya said.