Mumbai: Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Tuesday created an uproar by terming the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army along the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as "fake".
The Mumbai Congress chief further accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of indulging in politics over national interest.
"Every Indian wants surgical strikes against Pakistan but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by BJP. politics over national interest(sic)," Nirupam tweeted.
Later, Nirupam said it is up to the government to prove the surgical strikes did take place.
He said his party was of the view that Pakistan should be punished.
"The way BJP was indulging in politics, putting up banners and taking credit gives a view whether such strikes did happen. In Goa, the Defence Minister (Manohar Parrikar) is being publicly felicitated. Why were earlier surgical strikes not announced in a press conference? Why was a press conference done now (by DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh)?. Was there any pressure from the government?" he asked.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh, meanwhile, said his party fully supports the government on the surgical strikes, but added that there should be a strong rebuttal of Pakistan's denial of the Indian Army action.
"We have no doubt about the surgical strikes, as claimed by the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) and the Government of India. The Congress party from day one has fully supported the operation. And, we are proud of the fact that the Indian Army has done an excellent job," Singh told a news channel.
Digvijay also took exception to Sanjay Nirupam's remarks that the "strikes were fake".
"I think he (Sanjay Nirupam) should not have called it 'farzi' (fake). We have no doubts about the veracity of the strike," Singh added.
The Army conducted surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads along the LoC on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, inflicting "significant casualties" on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.
The next morning, the DGMO had given this information to the media in a press conference.
Pakistan, however, has been dismissing the claim as "fabrication of truth" and said India was creating "media hype" by re-branding cross-border fire as surgical strikes.
(With Agency inputs)