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Sanjay Nirupam Questions Surgical Strikes, Congress Distances Itself

Press Trust Of India

First published: October 4, 2016, 7:40 PM IST | Updated: October 4, 2016
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Sanjay Nirupam Questions Surgical Strikes, Congress Distances Itself
File image of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam

Mumbai/New Delhi: A political slugfest erupted on Tuesday over India's surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC with Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam calling it "fake", provoking stinging criticism from BJP even as his own party said it "totally dissociates" from his remarks.

"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, kicking up a row over the emotive issue.

The Congress leader went on to demand "some evidence" to prove the surgical strikes did take place and accused the Centre's ruling BJP of indulging in politics over the issue.

As the row erupted, Congress dissociated itself from Sanjay Nirupam's remarks, saying it had taken a serious note of those allegations.

"Congress dissociates itself from Nirupam's remarks and has taken a serious note. It's time for the government to expose Pakistan's malicious propaganda. The evidence should be made public," said party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

With patriotic sentiments running high amid soaring tensions with Pakistan, Union Minister Uma Bharti said leaders who cast "doubt over the army's surgical strike should take Pakistani citizenship".

"Those leaders who say that if Pakistan is demanding evidence about surgical strike, they should be given the evidence, such people should take the citizenship of Pakistan," Bharti told reporters in Pune.

The Congress had yesterday asked the government to put forth "credible" evidence of last week's surgical strikes, carried out by the Army across the LoC, to "expose" Pakistan which has denied any such action.

Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma had also sought to dismiss the claim that the surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads was the first such retaliation by the Indian Army, insisting that it had responded earlier too "as per the need or provocation".

"Around a week ago when the DGMO on behalf of the government announced that a surgical strike has been carried out against the Pak terror camps in PoK, we all supported. Honourable Sonia Gandhi supported, Rahul Gandhi supported, even I personally supported it.

But the way BJP has put banners all over the country, the way surgical strike is being politicised, used for political benefit and simultaneously from all over the world questions are being raised on the reality of the surgical strike, we have the questions to ask the government," he said.

Nirupam said the government will "have to come with some evidence" without compromising national security to give reply to the whole world.

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