Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after Lt General (retd) DS Hooda said the constant hype around the surgical strikes was 'unwarranted', alleging that the PM used the military action for "political capital". Speaking during a panel discussion on the 'Role of Cross-Border Operations and Surgical Strikes' on the first day of Military Literature Festival 2018 in Chandigarh, General Hooda said: "I do think there was too much hype over the surgical strike. It was important and we had to do it. Now how much should it have been politicised, whether it was right or wrong is something that should be asked to the politicians.”
The discussion was attended by Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore along with other former Generals and Army Commanders.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said: "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. #SurgicalStrike (sic)."
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. #SurgicalStrike https://t.co/IotXWBsIih— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 8, 2018
Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala thanked Lt Gen (retd) Hooda for "exposing the petty politicisation by PM Modi".
"No one can use the valour & sacrifice of our brave soldiers to score cheap political points Modiji is squarely guilty of compromising National Security & Strategic Interests by unwarranted chest thumping!" he wrote on Twitter.
Lt Gen (retired) DS Hooda who was the Northern Army Commander when the operation was carried out on September 29, 2016 across the Line of Control (LoC). He saw the live video feed of the surgical strike, which was launched in retaliation to the Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani terrorists.
The Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) was severely hit in the cross-LoC surgical strikes on terror launch pads carried out by the Indian Army with assessment reports of radio intercepts indicating that around 20 of its militants were killed.
In a well-calibrated operation, on the intervening night of September 28-29, the Indian Army moved across the LoC and smashed four launch pads that were under the guard of a Pakistani post located 700 metres from the LoC.