NEW DELHI: Two days after facing severe criticism over his video recorded message on the surgical strikes, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Friday took on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for his controversial ‘dalali’ remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging political parties to set aside their differences and rally behind the latter.
The AAP has decided not to criticize Modi’s anti-terror policies against Pakistan and also planned to send its volunteers to border areas of Punjab to send a clear message that it stood behind the Centre in its resolve to handle terrorism in the country.
Kejriwal, who courted controversies over his remarks on surgical strikes, said on Friday that the armed forces were to be credited for valiantly carrying out the operation and demolishing terror launch pads across the Line of Control and that there should not be any politics over this issue.
“Our soldiers valiantly carried out surgical strikes and demolished terror addresses. I have previously done so and want to congratulate the army once again for this. I strongly criticize Rahul Gandhi's remarks wherein he said army's sacrifices and bravery was khoon ki dalali,” he said.
The Delhi Chief Minister further stated that he condemn the use of such words. “I have told in the House as well as in a video message that right now there is tension at the border. The entire country should stand behind the army keeping aside political differences and support the Prime Minister's steps pertaining to security. There should not be any politics over this issue,” Kejriwal said.
Soon after he was criticized for his video statement, Kejriwal is said to decide not to criticize the Prime Minister and extend his full support to his anti-terror policy against the neighboring country. This decision was reportedly taken by the AAP at its Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting on Wednesday which among others was attended by Kejriwal, state Labour Minister Gopal Rai and senior leaders Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas. The meeting was called to assess the damage caused to the party after the release of the Kejriwal’s video and its possible impact on next year’s assembly polls in Punjab.
Reports suggest that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh have been told to do the damage control to ensure party’s image was not further tarnished.
Now AAP has started working on a two-pronged strategy -- one to extend support to the Modi government on Pakistan policy and second to reach out to villages ( especially in the border areas) through its volunteers to spread the message that the party firmly stands behind the Centre and will extend full support to its anti-terror stand.
Kejriwal was widely criticized after he urged Modi to "expose" Pakistan's propaganda on surgical strikes. The BJP had said that the AAP supremo’s comments amounted to seeking proof and was an insult to the army.