Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Friday accused the BJP of using the surgical strikes carried out in Pakistan by the Indian security forces to gain "political mileage" ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
While levelling the charges, Siddaramaiah went on to claim that 10-12 such surgical strikes were carried out during the UPA regime, adding that the Congress never took political advantage from those incidents.
"They should not take political advantage from the Incidents against Pakistan. If that is the case, during Congress time there was more than 10-12 Surgical strike, we never tried to get mileage out of it. Bangladesh was liberated during Indira Gandhi time, is this bigger indecent than that. We don't take political advantage out of all those Incidents. Nobody should do politics related to Country, National Security, Army and war," he said while speakign to media in Mysore.
Siddaramaiah's referece was to the pre-emptive strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force on Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot, killing a "very large number" of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.
India's action came close to the Pulwama incident in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed in one of the deadliest terror strikes in decades in Jammu and Kashmir.
Opposing the government's claim of 300 terrorists killed in the strikes, the Congress has questioned the damage inflicted in the IAF strike.
On September 29, 2016, the Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) as a response to an attack on its base in Uri earlier that month. Then too, the Congress had questioned the veracity of the surgical strikes.
Siddaramaiah wants Rahul to contest LS polls from Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah on Friday said the Karnataka Congress wants party president Rahul Gandhi to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls from the southern state.
Calling Gandhi the "next Prime Minister of India", the Congress Legislature Party leader recalled his grandmother Indira Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Karnataka in the past.
"Karnataka has always supported & encouraged @INCIndia leaders. It has been proved in case of Smt. Indira ji & Smt. Sonia ji.
We also want our next Prime Minister of India Shri. @RahulGandhi to contest from Karnataka & herald new developmental paradigm.
#RaGaFromKarnataka," Siddaramaiah said in a tweet.
While Indira Gandhi had scripted her political comeback from Chikkamagaluru in Karnataka by winning the Lok Sabha bypolls in 1978, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi had contested and won from Ballari in 1999, trouncing the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Sushma Swaraj.
Interestingly, the Congress has ceded the Chikkamagaluru seat to its alliance partner Janata Dal (Secular) this time, while Ballari remains with the grand old party.
Siddaramaiah's tweet has come amid reports about pressure within the Congress for Rahul Gandhi to contest from one of the seats in south India.
The Congress had, earlier this month, announced that the party chief would contest from Amethi and Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli, both traditional strongholds of the party in Uttar Pradesh.