New Delhi, May 4 : Slamming Narendra Modi government for taking the credit for the military operation in Pakistan, Lieutenant General (Retd) DS Hooda revealed that the Indian army had conducted surgical strikes against terrorists across the Pakistan border during the UPA rule as well but it is for the first time that a government is politicising and is en-cashing the defence forces action during elections.
Hooda revelations holds much significance as he had played a major role in the 2016 surgical strike launched after the Uri terror attack.
He also said that the operation was “much needed” but accused the Modi government as the operation “overhyped and politicised”.
Hooda’s latest comments seem to support the Congress’ claim that while as many as six cross-border strikes were conducted between 2004 and 2014, the Manmohan Singh government never publicised the matter. “As has been said by many people and ex-veterans as well, surgical strikes or cross-border operations had been carried out by the Army in the past too. But I am not aware of the exact date and areas,” ANI quoted him as telling mediapersons.
He also claimed that the armed forces will not benefit from the politicisation of military operations. “It is not right for any political party to bring the army into the elections, as directed by the Election Commission. It will ultimately cause long-term damage to the institution,” Lieutenant General Hooda said.
BJP government is rejecting the Army officer claim and General VK Singh who is now Minister of State for External Affairs in the MOdi government said, “Congress has a habit of lying. Will you please let me know which ‘so-called surgical strike’ are you attributing to my tenure as COAS (Chief of Army Staff). Am sure you must have hired some Coupta to invent another story,” he tweeted.
On Thursday, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla had provided details of the six surgical strikes reportedly conducted under the Manmohan Singh administration. He also claimed that two such military operations were earlier carried out under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
Opposition parties have accused the BJP of politicising the 2016 surgical strike and the Balakot air strikes to garner votes in violation of poll regulations.