A day after a retired army general said that surgical strikes should have been kept secret, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Without naming the PM, Gandhi accused Modi of using the military as a “political asset” and using Rafale deal to favour Anil Ambani.
“Spoken like a true soldier General. India is so proud of you. Mr 36 has absolutely no shame in using our military as a personal asset. He used the surgical strikes for political capital and the Rafale deal to increase Anil Ambani’s real capital by 30,000 Cr,” tweeted the 48-year-old Congress chief.
Addressing the first session on ‘Role of Cross Border Operations and Surgical Strikes’ at the Military Literature Festival (MLF) 2018 in Chandigarh on Friday, former Northern Command Army Commander Lt General DS Hooda (retired) said that it was natural to have initial euphoria about the success of the surgical strikes but the constant maintenance of hype around the military operations was unwarranted.
Responding to a question from the audience, the retired general, who was the Northern Army Commander when the surgical strikes carried out in September 2016, said it would have been, in hindsight, better if the surgical strikes were done secretly.
“The aim of any such offensive had to be not only tactical but strategic too, which substantially hampers enemy morale,” Hooda said, adding that he could not say with certainty if India had actually achieved that objective in full measure.
Other war veterans participating in the event, too, agreed that the strikes were unnecessarily hyped by the Centre to garner political mileage, endangering India’s future defence cross border responses to inflict enemy damage.
Reacting to Lt Gen Hooda’s comment, army chief General Bipin Rawat said today that he cannot comment on an individual’s perception but respects his words.
“These are individual person’s perceptions so let’s not comment on them. He (Lt Gen Hooda) was one of the main persons involved in conduct of these operations so I respect his words very much,” General Rawat was quoted as saying by ANI.
The 2016 surgical strikes were conducted in retaliation to the Uri terror attacks the same month.