Stung by his statements on beheading of Indian soldiers, Congress on Sunday said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's remarks were "malicious" and could demotivate the armed forces which have been pursuing relief operations in flood-hit Uttarakhand.
"People of this country are keenly watching how personal ambitions of a politician in Narendra Modi can make him use such words which would demotivate our armed forces and mar relief operations," party general secretary Ajay Maken said shortly after the BJP election campaign chief virtually sounded the poll bugle at a rally in Pathankot.
While addressing the rally earlier in the day, Modi had sought the Prime Minister's explanation as to why his government was treating the then Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to a lavish lunch in Jaipur weeks after Indian soldiers were beheaded by Pakistanis near the Line of Control.
Maken, who is head of the newly constituted Communication Department of the AICC, said Modi's remarks were "unfortunate and malicious to say the least" in such difficult times of natural calamities in neighbouring states.
"Many of his utterances, particularly references to national security should have been avoided at a juncture when our Army is saving lives in Uttarakhand. This will demotivate our armed forces, which at this moment are single mindedly pursuing relief operations in Uttarakhand", he said.
At the outset, Maken thanked defence and paramilitary forces for displaying extraordinary discipline and courage and valour in Uttarakhand where, he said, they were able to save the lives of tens of thousands of stranded pilgrims and local population.
He said, it is surprising to see the Gujarat Chief Minister, as claimed by a leading newspaper, to have "played the role of Rambo" and saving 15,000 lives in a day.
"This is not a time for politicising a disaster and least for a political credit taking exercise.
Maken noted that Congress chief ministers have also visited Uttarakhand in the past few days "without any fanfare."
Today Congress treasurer Motilal Vora and general secretary Ambika Soni are setting up various relief camps in Uttarakhand, coordinating relief material which will be coming from different states. Tomorrow, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will flag off relief material from Delhi to
Uttarakhand, he said.
"At this juncture, instead of credit taking exercise, the whole country should be united and political parties should concentrate only on relief activity than oneupmanship," he added.
At the Pathankot rally, Modi had also said the Prime Minister must explain as to what he did after Sarabjeet Singh died in Pakistan on May after he was fatally wounded in prison.