Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday sought to further distance the party from the row over Digvijaya Singh’s remarks questioning the veracity of the Narendra Modi government’s claims of having struck at terror camps in Pakistan. Rejecting Singh’s remarks as “ridiculous”, Gandhi said that the former MP’s remarks are detached from the views of the Congress party.
“We disagree with Digvijaya Singh’s views. The views of the party are above Digvijaya Singh’s views,” Rahul said responding to questions at a press conference in Jammu on the sidelines of his ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Addressing a gathering in Jammu, Singh had questioned the Centre’s claims of neutralising terrorists in cross-border strikes by the armed forces. “They talk about surgical strikes – that we killed these many people. But there is no proof. They are ruling by peddling lies,” Singh said on Monday, drawing widespread criticism.
Realising the extent of the damage, the Congress immediately jumped to its defence and said that the views of the party were different from those articulated by Singh. “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.
Taking Ramesh’s defence a step further, Rahul said Singh’s views were outlying while those of the party are arrived at through a conversation. “They are not views held by the party. We are absolutely crystal clear – the armed forces do a job, and they do the job exceptionally well. They don’t need to be providing proof,” he said.
The remarks by Singh have once again given the BJP ammunition to target the Congress over repeatedly asking for proof from the Indian Army. “If the Army said there was a surgical strike, how can you ask for proof repeatedly? This shows that you do not have faith in our Army,” BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said, adding that Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh were “blinded by their hate for Narendra Modi”.
India has launched two major operations against Pakistan-based terror groups in retaliation to attacks against India’s armed forces. India carried out surgical strikes in 2016 following the killing of 18 Indian Army soldiers in the Uri terror attack. In 2019, India launched air strikes targetting terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot in retaliation against the Pulwama terror attack.