Gandhi scion and Congress president Rahul Gandhi has taken a jibe at the Modi- led BJP government over a comment by a former Army officer that there was ‘too much hype’ over the surgical strike across the Line of Control two years ago.
Apparently, Lieutenant General DS Hooda (retired), who monitored on live video feed the precision attack on terrorist launch pads in September 2016, had approved the special forces operation in retaliation to the killing of 19 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri by Pakistani terrorists. Commenting on the matter, he said that though the initial euphoria may have been a natural reaction, the ‘hype’ around the operation was unnecessary. Lt. General Hooda made this comment while he was attending the Military Literature Festival themed on cross-border operations at Chandigarh on Friday.
General (retired) D S Hooda: I do think there was too much hype over it (surgical strike). The strike was important & 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. (7.12) pic.twitter.com/8v0QJ1tzK5
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2018
Taking cognisance of Lieutenant General DS Hooda’s comment, Rahul Gandhi tweeted , “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.”
Notably, various ministers in the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have often highlighted the surgical strike as an achievement the country should be proud of and not to be kept hidden. However, the opposition has alleged that the government’s continuous use of the surgical strike narrative amounts to misusing the military’s work for political ends.
Lt. General Hooda said that the surgical strike should have been carried out in secret. He added, “The aim of any such offensive had to be not only tactical but strategic too, which substantially hampers enemy morale.”
Even Lt. General NS Brar (retired), who had also attended the literature festival, asked whether politicians would have taken responsibility had there been any casualty in the surgical strike, and cautioned them against being ‘adventurists’.
However, reacting to Lt. General Hooda’s comments, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said, “These are individual person’s perceptions, so let’s not comment on them. He was one of the main persons involved in conduct of these operations, so I respect his words very much.”
Reportedly, the government is planning to set up a surgical strike force comprising the best soldiers drawn from the three branches of the military.