The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come down heavily on the Congress for claiming that six surgical strikes were carried out during its 10-year tenure under former prime minister Manmohan Singh. BJP said that Congress’s claim was "fraudulent and farcical", and alleged that the grand old party was "guilty" of not allowing the punitive action against terrorists.
"It is a farcical and fraudulent claim. We have the greatest of respect for our armed forces. Our forces were capable of carrying out surgical strikes across the LoC, inside Pakistan, but they were not allowed to do so when the UPA was in power," BJP national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.
Addressing a press conference at the party office in the national capital, Rao alleged that the Congress was guilty of not allowing the armed forces to take action against terrorists.
Referring to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Rao said, "... the then Air Chief Marshal had asked then prime minister Manmohan Singh to give permission for conducting an airstrike across the LoC or inside Pakistan and it was denied. The Congress party is guilty of not allowing punitive attacks against terror."
Meanwhile, Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Thursday said he “was in the army and knows what happened and what did not”.
Earlier, the Congress came out with a list of six anti-terror surgical strikes carried out during UPA rule, asserting that it never tried to take political advantage from military operations.
The Congress released the list at a press conference after BJP leader Arun Jaitley took a jibe at the opposition party, saying its surgical strikes were "invisible and unknown".
The UPA government carried out six surgical strikes -- Bhattal sector in Poonch (June 19, 2008); Sharda sector, across Neelam River Valley, in Kel (August 30-September 1, 2011); Sawan Patra checkpost (January 6, 2013); Nazapir sector (July 27-28, 2013); Neelam Valley (August 6, 2013); and one on December 23, 2013, Congress spokesperson Rajeev Shukla said.
He also listed two surgical strikes carried out under the previous BJP-led NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. These were Nadala Enclave, across the Neelam River (January 21, 2000) and Baroh sector in Poonch (September 18, 2003), Shukla said.
The war of words between the two parties came after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in an interview to Hindustan Times, said multiple surgical strikes took place during UPA rule.