Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took jibes at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the central government’s decision to make public the 2016 surgical strikes.
The 48-year-old Gandhi made the remarks while addressing Congress supporters at a public meeting in Udaipur in poll-bound Rajasthan with other senior party leaders in attendance.
Gandhi said that three surgical strikes were conducted during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s tenure but all of them were kept secret for military reasons.
“Do you know that like Mr Narendra Modi’s surgical strike, Manmohan Singh ji did that 3 times? When Army came to Mr Manmohan Singh and said we need to retaliate against Pak for what they’ve done, they also said we wanted to be secret, for our own purposes,” Gandhi was quoted as saying by ANI.
Accusing the PM of using the surgical strike for political purposes, Gandhi said that Modi “reached into Army’s domain and shaped their surgical strike, turning it into a political asset when it actually was a military decision.”
The Congress president alleged that the PM used the successful surgical strike to help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during elections in key states.
“What the Army would have liked was we’ll do it, it’s beneficial if nobody knows we did it. But Modi didn’t want that. He was fighting an election in Uttar Pradesh and he was losing it. So he did it to turn a military asset into a political asset,” said Gandhi referring to the assembly elections held in 2017 which brought the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in India’s most populous state.
Mocking Modi, Gandhi said, “The PM is convinced he knows better than Army what needs to be done in Army’s area, better than Foreign Minister what needs to be done in Foreign Ministry, better than Agriculture Minister what needs to be done in agriculture because he has a sense that all knowledge comes from his brain.”
Gandhi, who has been on a temple spree for the last many months and recently revealed his gotra, also said that PM Modi has no idea of Hinduism.
“What is the essence of Hinduism? What does the Gita say? That knowledge is with everybody, knowledge is all around you. Every living being has knowledge. Our PM says he is a Hindu but he doesn’t understand foundation of Hinduism. What kind of a Hindu is he?” he said.
During a visit to Pushkar on 26 November, Rahul Gandhi told priests of the Brahma temple that he is a “Kaul Brahmin” of the “Dattatreya gotra”.
His revelation came after BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra questioned Gandhi over his claim of wearing a ‘janeu’ (sacred thread worn by Brahmins) and his gotra.
Earlier today, Gandhi held an interactive session with business community and professionals in Udaipur where he batted in favour of government educational institutions.
“It’s a myth that private sector educational institutes are better. We are clear on the view that we can’t run the country without government institutes for education & healthcare,” he said.
Currently ruled by the BJP, Rajasthan goes to elections on 7 December in a single-phase polling for the 200-member Assembly. Counting of votes will take place on 11 December.