The Congress party appeared to find itself in familiar territory after senior party leader Digvijaya Singh on Monday raised questions on surgical strikes as well as the terror attack against an Army convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama. The remarks were reminiscent of the questions raised by the party in 2016, actions that many see as reasons behind its successive electoral defeats over the years.
The BJP effectively portrayed the questions raised by the Congress on the government’s claims with regard to the surgical strikes following the Uri attack and the Balakot air strikes following the Pulwama attack as “anti-national” and “questioning the armed forces”. Over the years, the Congress toned down its attack fearing further electoral damage.
However, the damage control appeared to come undone when senior party leader Digvijaya Singh went ahead and said that the government has presented “no proof of surgical strikes” and there were no facts placed on record to back the claims that the actions caused damage to terror organisations.
“They talk about surgical strike – that we killed these many people. But there is no proof,” the Congress
Seeking to distance itself from the controversy, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter to clarify that Singh’s remarks were not the official stand of the party.
“The views expressed by senior leader Digvijaya Singh today are his personal views and not those of the Congress party. Before 2014, the UPA government also carried out surgical strikes. The Congress has supported and will support all military actions in the national interest,” Ramesh tweeted.
Singh’s remarks on the surgical strikes came while he was addressing a gathering on the sidelines of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu. He later posted a video on Twitter where he also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi
A day later, Singh told reporters he has the highest regard for India’s armed forces. Ramesh, who was seen walking alongside Digvijaya Singh, refused to answer questions by the media and said he has already answered all their questions in their statement. “Go and question the Prime Minister,” Ramesh said.