Attacking Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for his remarks “seeking proof” of the anti-terror surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the BJP today asked him not to belittle the armed forces by getting influenced by Pakistani “propaganda”.
At a press conference, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the AAP leader should clarify whether he believed in the Indian army or not.
Prasad said that Kejriwal should not “belittle the great leadership, courage and sacrifice of armed forced under the garb of seeking proof” and alleged that he had given the neighbouring country a chance to question the army’s assertion.
“It was most painful and unfortunate that the AAP leader was in Pakistani media headlines today as his remarks yesterday gave it a chance to question Indian army’s claim,” the BJP leader said.
“Arvind Kejriwal, you are in the headlines of Pakistani newspapers. Do you know it? At a time when the whole nation is speaking in one voice, a chief minister has said something that has given Pakistani media and people a chance to question India army action. There cannot be more painful and unfortunate thing,” he said.
Prasad also lashed out at Congress leader and former home minister P. Chidambaram, who said that such attacks had been carried out under the Congress government as well but not made public.
“Is he also joining the bandwagon of those doubting capacity of our soldiers in conducting the surgical strikes?” Indian Express quoted Prasad as saying.
“Politics is different but nothing should be said that demoralises our army and makes it feel humiliated,” he said.
India has been successful in isolating Pakistan politically and diplomatically but Kejriwal is being guided by Pakistani media reports, Prasad said.
In a televised speech yesterday, Kejriwal had “saluted” Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ordering the surgical strike but also referred to some international media reports and a UN group observations, both of which appear to question its authenticity. He asked the prime minister to “unmask the Pakistani propaganda”.
Prasad said the government does not take seriously reports of “sponsored-media”, apparently referring to the Pakistan army’s decision to ferry reporters to the Line of Control to bolster its claim that no surgical strike by the India army occurred there.
India, he said, had briefed ambassadors of many countries and they have taken note of the Indian army’s operation.
(With PTI inputs)