New Delhi: The ruling BJP on Friday hit back at the Congress party shortly after the latter launched a frontal attack on its chief Amit Shah, accusing him of playing politics over the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army across the LoC recently.
Addressing a press briefing in the national capital, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, ''It appears that both Congress and its vice president Rahul Gandhi have not learnt any lessons from past electoral defeats.''
Categorically denying any politics over the surgical strikes, the BJP leader said that the remarks made by Rahul Gandhi were ''utterly shameful.''
It was BJP's second press briefing in four hours over the issue.
Prasad further said that Congress party has never stopped its loudmouth leaders like Digvijay Singh and Kapil Sibal from making irresponsible statements over issues of utmost importance, which has only added to BJP's vote base.
Today, for some Congress leaders their devotion to Rahul Gandhi is much bigger than devotion to the motherland. The words used by Rahul Gandhi and his colleagues related to surgical strikes were highly commendable, Prasad said.
What does Congress mean by saying that BJP made Jaish-e-Mohammad? You know who will be happy with this comment? The ISI, Prasad said.
Prasad's remarks came shortly after the Congress attacked the BJP, accusing the ruling party of playing politics over the surgical strike by the Indian Army.
Addressing a press conference earlier, senior party leader Kapil Sibal said, “This attack (Uri) would not have happened hadn't BJP given birth to Jaish-e-Mohammad. Who released Masood Azhar? Who took him on a plane to Afghanistan? And then he formed JeM and now they are accusing the Congress.”
“Pakistan is a patient and India wants that this patient to get healthy. Their (Pakistan's) body has cancer cells and these cells are the terrorists and we have to give chemotherapy and that is being given by our armed forces. We want this cancer to be cured....but they think (government) that cancer has been cured with one surgical strike,” Sibal said.
When asked about Rahul Gandhi's change of stance on the surgical strike – Rahul had earlier congratulated the government and the Army - Sibal described in length the 'sentiment' behind Rahul Gandhi's 'khoon ki dalali' statement.
“You must understand the feeling of Rahul Gandhi when he made these statements. The first statement was to stand with the government and the Army. Then they started to portray him as Lord Ram and they tried to gain political capital out of it. Rahul Gandhi said that political capital should not be made from it, that's the thought behind Rahul Gandhi's statements,” Sibal said.
“Rahul Gandhi knew what he said. His thought process was clear and the nation understands his thought process,” he added.
"Stop putting up these posters claiming credit, it was the Army who should be hailed, so stop politics," Sibal said.
Referring to Amit Shah's statement that it was for the first time the Indian Army had crossed the LoC, Sibal said, “They said it is for the first time that the Indian Army has crossed the LoC. Then who crossed the LoC in 1965, 1971, 1998...was it Modi ji, Parrikar or Amit Shah who crossed the LoC then?”
“We have never tried to gain political mileage from actions of the defence forces,” he said. The Congress leader also claimed that former Army chief Bikram Singh has said that surgical strikes were conducted earlier as well.
Accusing Amit Shah of questioning the mool (origin) of Rahul Gandhi, Sibal said, “Those who are tadibaaz, those who have murder cases against them will now tell us that there is a flaw in the mool (origin) of Rahul Gandhi.”
“They are trying to say that there was a flaw in Indira Gandhi, there was a flaw in Rajiv Gandhi, who sacrificed his life for the country...we want Modi ji to explain this statement,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi, yesterday, accused Prime Minister Modi of playing politics over the "blood of jawans" who sacrificed their lives in Kashmir.Targeting the Prime Minister over the surgical strikes, Gandhi said "Jo hamare jawan hain jinhone apna khoon diya hai, Jammu and Kashmir mein khoon diya hai, jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strikes kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai . (You [Modi] are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong)."
A political slugfest over the surgical strikes broke out after Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam called it "fake" and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked the government to release the proof of the surgical strikes to counter the Pakistani propaganda against the operation.