A newspaper report on Sunday showed that one of the deadliest surgical strikes carried across the Line of Control (LoC) by the Indian Army was conducted during the UPA regime led by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Congress party had refrained from making the news of the surgical strikes, or Operation Ginger public then.
The party, however, couldn’t stop from jumping into the politics of surgical strikes in the wake of such attacks conducted by the Indian Army during Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government. The sudden change in Congress’ stance gives one a reason to believe the politics of pseudo-secularism allegedly practised by the party for long.
When DGMO Ranbir Singh informed people of the country about the surgical strikes on September 29, which caused ‘significant damages’ to the terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, all parties equivocally congratulated the Central government, Indian Army and even PM Narendra Modi for the daring act to teach Pakistan-sponsored terrorists a lesson.
However, the rare unity broke soon as all other parties started realising that BJP would walk away with all the credits for the surgical strikes.
While it is common sense that the government of the day would take the benefit of everything that has happened under its watch, parties like AAP, Congress, SP, NCP couldn’t find some good way to use the recent surgical strikes for their benefit. Instead, they raked the politics of surgical strikes. While AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal triggered the politics, the Congress and others rallied behind.
The Congress went several steps ahead of other parties. While its vice-president Rahul Gandhi recently accused PM Modi of doing ‘dalali’ with the blood of soldiers, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Nirupam even said the entire surgical strikes were fake.
On Monday another Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala slammed the BJP for trying to gain political mileage from the Indian Army’s sacrifices. He also talked about the Operation Ginger report published by The Hindu. He clarified then Congress government didn’t make Operation Ginger public because it didn’t believe in indulging in such politics.
One can’t take a statement like this coming from a politician without a pinch of salt. Even a mild critique of the Congress would agree that any public acknowledgement of the beheading of Muslim Pakistani soldiers by Indian Army would have badly hit the party’s pseudo-secular politics.
During Operation Ginger by the Indian Army in Pakistani territory in 2011, at least eight Pakistani soldiers were killed, with three of them decapitated.
It is for the readers to decide why the Congress is suddenly so much interested in talking about the surgical strikes carried out during the party’s rule now. Or, has the party lost all issues to counter the Modi government?