Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Congress party president, Rahul Gandhi lashed out at each other on social media platform, Twitter, on 22nd March after a comment by Sam Pitroda, Indian Overseas Congress head on the Balakot air strike which triggered a political storm.
Sam Pitroda questioned the rationale for the February 26 air strikes deep inside Pakistani territory 12 days after the February 14 Pulwama suicide attack, Pitroda said one cannot “jump on an entire nation” (Pakistan) because some people from there “came here and attacked”. In an apparent reference to the Pulwama attack, Pitroda, who heads the Indian Overseas Congress, said attacks happen all the time.
Narendra Modi accused the Congress of “demeaning” the armed forces, the Congress asked the Prime Minister to “stop using an individual’s personal opinion to spread venom”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Opposition insults our forces time and again. I appeal to my fellow Indians — question Opposition leaders on their statements. Tell them — 130 crore Indians will not forgive or forget the Opposition for their antics. India stands firmly with our forces.”
In another post PM Modi wrote, “Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew — Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India — we will answer terrorists in a language they understand and with interest!”
Modi along with this also posted a series of tweets with the hashtag #Janta Maaf Nahi Karegi: “Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew — Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India — we will answer terrorists in a language they understand…!” BJP chief Amit Shah tweeted: “Difference between the opposition and BJP is clear. They suspect our army, we are proud of our army…”Jaitley dubbed Pitroda’s remarks “unfortunate” and a “blessing for Pakistan’s narrative”.
Mr. Modi targeted Mr. Pitroda tagging a tweet by news agency ANI, which cited the Overseas Congress chief as having said: “Eight people (26/11 terrorists) come and do something, you don’t jump on entire nation (Pakistan). Naive to assume that just because some people came here and attacked, every citizen of that nation is to be blamed. I don’t believe in that way”.
Sam Pitroda, in conversation with ANI, also reportedly sought more information on the Balakot operation by referring to the fact that the New York Times and other newspapers appeared to have questioned whether 300 people had been killed in the air strike.
“I would like to know more as I have read in New York Times & other newspapers, what did we really attack, we really killed 300 people? As a citizen, it is my duty to ask” he said.
ther senior BJP leaders including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley joined in accusing the Congress of ‘insulting’ the armed forces. the Congress’s communications chief Randeep Surjewala went on a counter offensive.
Terming the Pulwama terror attack a “grave national security failure of Modi government” he wrote on Twitter that the Congress had “unequivocally” lauded the air strike as a shining example of the velour of the Air Force and had emphasised that Pakistan’s terror outfits would never succeed in their evil design.
“Truth also is — 1. Modiji was busy shooting films in Corbett Park & speech as nation mourned Pulwama martyrs, 2. Modi Govt was clueless as RDX, MI Carbines & Rocket Launchers were smuggled in to be used in Pulwama, 3. BJP Govt released Masood Azhar & other terrorists,” tweeted Mr. Surjewala.
“Instead of hiding behind the sacrifice of our armed forces, PM must answer to Nation on — jobs crisis, agrarian distress, demonetisation & GST disasters & economic downturn,” the Congress spokesperson wrote.
Is this an election strategy? You never know!