Goa Congress president Shantaram Naik on Saturday alleged Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, when he was serving as Defence Minister, was not in the know of surgical strikes against Pakistan till they happened. The Congress leader also claimed “Parrikar quit the central ministry because he could not handle pressure”. Naik’s criticism comes in the wake of the Panaji by-elections, where the Chief Minister, who continues to be a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, is contesting.
“Parrikar did not even know about the surgical strikes before they actually happened. They were actually orchestrated by the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Advisor. But he had the gall to credit RSS training for the strikes,” Naik alleged. “I wonder that a Prime Minister from land of Mahatma Gandhi and a Defence Minister from Goa and surgical strikes… maybe the RSS teachings were there but this was very different kind of a combination,” Parrikar had said at an event in Gujarat in October last year.
Naik also alleged that Parrikar had “scampered” to state politics, as he had failed to handle the pressures of the sensitive central ministry. “He has even said that pressures emanating from Kashmir had led to his return to Goa,” Naik alleged, quoting a media report.The Panaji by-poll has been scheduled for August 23, where Parrikar, a five-time MLA from the state capital, is taking on All India Congress Committee secretary Girish Chodankar and Anand Shirodkar of the Goa Suraksha Manch.