Jammu/New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Monday questioned the surgical strikes and accused the government of peddling lies, drawing furious reaction from the BJP which said the opposition party was blinded by its "hate" for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has "insulted" armed forces.
Addressing a public meeting during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh alleged that the government did not agree to the CRPF request of flying its personnel from Srinagar to Delhi and 40 soldiers sacrificed their lives in Pulwama in 2019 to a terror attack.
"They talk of surgical strikes. They claim to have killed so many people but no proof is given. They are ruling by peddling a bundle of lies," the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, who has often courted controversy with his comments, said.
The BJP launched a sharp attack on the Congress, saying that such comments show that the Rahul Gandhi-led foot march across the country is Bharat Jodo Yatra only in name while he and his party colleagues are working to "break" the country. It is essentially "Bharat todo yatra", BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said.
He said, "India will not tolerate if they speak against armed forces. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress hate PM Modi but it seems they have been blinded by the hate to an extent that their dedication to the country has withered away."
He said Congress leaders had raised questions about the surgical strikes soon after the Indian Air Force said it hit terror camps in Balakot in Pakistan in retaliation to the Pulwama terror attack. "Gandhi and the Congress do not have trust in our brave armed forces. They repeatedly raise questions and insult the citizens of India and our armed forces," Bhatia claimed.
He added that Congress leaders had tried to deflect attention from Pakistan after the terror attack as well. Randeep Singh Surjewala had then blamed "home-grown terrorism", he claimed, alleging that the opposition party tried to give a clean chit to Pakistan.
Pakistan is in a lot of pain when our armed forces strike terrorists, while in India it is the Congress which is in anguish, he said.
With the Pulwama terror attack and surgical strikes taking place in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the issues had captured popular imagination as the BJP retained power at the Centre with a bigger mandate than 2014 by winning over 300 seats out of 543.
"Nothing is bigger than people's blessings in democracy. In the 2019 polls, it became clear that people stand with the BJP and the armed forces. While those who raised questions are facing existential crisis," Bhatia said.