Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday slammed the BJP for its 'propaganda' against the Congress on the Balakot air strikes, defending his party’s right to demand proof of the operation's success from the Narendra Modi government.
“If the strikes were as successful as the Modi government claimed them to be, it's actually a matter of immense pride for our country and for all of us. So let us see how our forces destroyed Pak buildings and shattered their inflated ego,” he said when asked to comment on the BJP’s allegation that the Congress was being anti-national by asking proof of the operation.
This is not the first time proof had been asked, he said. Even in the 1965 war, he remembered an Army major bringing chopped ears of those killed on the other side of the border to put all doubts of a certain Indian operation at rest. Photographs were released of the Kargil operation too, he pointed out, adding that demanding proof from the government was not unpatriotic by any standard.
“I’m very proud that our ageing MiG 21 plane brought down a Pak F-16 and would be delighted to know about the success of our Air Force in Balkot,” said Amarinder, who has been unsparing in his criticism of the Prime Minister over his alleged attempts to take credit for the actions of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and seek votes in the names of martyred soldiers.
He ridiculed Modi for finding the Congress demand for proof on Balakot as anti-national. “Have they (BJP) forgotten who won India its wars against Pakistan in 1965 and 1971,” he asked. “I’m a military historian also and if Modi doesn’t want to give proof of the strikes to the press or the Congress, he can send them to me,” he quipped, adding that as an ex-army man and an Indian, he would feel extremely proud if the claims by the BJP leaders in their speeches on the IAF's success were proven true.
In any case, said Amarinder, it was the BJP that started the numbers game by going overboard to usurp the
accomplishment of the air force by claiming hundreds of casualties in Balakot. The Congress only countered with its demand for proof, he said, adding that the BJP should not hesitate to grab the opportunity to show the world, and all doubters, of the great success of the Indian forces.
Amarinder also blasted the BJP for its allegations that the Congress was associated with the 'tukde tukde gang', saying it was the BJP and its leaders who were making 'tukdas' (pieces) of the nation with their divisive politics and nefarious agenda to create bad blood among the people on account of caste, religion etc.