People with suspect 'loyalty' doubting LoC strikes: Parrikar

October 06, 2016 05:03 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 06:00 am IST - Agra/New Delhi

“No one had doubted bravery of our forces ever, but for the first time recently some people are doubting,” the Defence Minister said

A file photo of Defence minister Manohar Parrikar. Photo: K.V.S. Giri

A file photo of Defence minister Manohar Parrikar. Photo: K.V.S. Giri

Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar on Thursday questioned the “loyalty” of those expressing “doubts” about the surgical strikes by the Army across the Line of Control. He said there was no need to release a video of the operation or give proof to convince the sceptics.

He said the Army’s strike was “100 percent successful.” He lauded it for “neutralising” terrorists and the “enemy” without suffering any casualty. Such precision was rare even for “bigger nations.”

Mr. Parikkar attacked those demanding details of the operation, saying there was a definitive “political understanding” behind the questions they were raising. Those demanding proof of the surgical strikes were rattled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s growing stature. “Many people fear that with this incident, Narendra Modi’s image will be further enhanced.”

He spoke at two events in Agra and Lucknow where he was felicitated for the Army’s surgical strikes. “There are certain elements who have no loyalty towards the nation. They are using television debates to question and express doubts. Till today, nobody had expressed doubts about the bravery of the Indian soldiers.” He said under Mr. Modi’s leadership the borders had been secured to a “larger extent.” He did not, however, name any Opposition leader.

Coming a day after Mr. Modi asked his colleagues to avoid “chest-thumping,” Mr. Parrikar’s felicitation in two key centres of U.P. is seen as the BJP’s attempt to cash in on the surge in nationalist fervour after the surgical strikes. The party had put up banners across major cities in U.P. congratulating Mr. Modi for the success of the operation.

The BJP held the two events at neutral venues — in Lucknow it was a school — but senior leaders, including State president Keshav Prasad Maurya, appeared on the dais.

Mr. Parrikar said the felicitation was not for him. It was to honour the Army and Mr. Modi, under whose leadership a “zabardast jhatka” (a big blow) had been delivered to the “enemy.”

“Somebody just said the Defence Minister is seedha-sadha (simple and straightforward). I feel the Defence Minister should not be seedha-sadha. I may think seedha (straight), but when it comes to safeguarding the nation I can also think tedha (in a skewed or wily manner).”

Attacking the previous governments for inaction in the face of repeated terrorist attacks, he said the people had been “frustrated” with the state of affairs. Was the country incapable of retaliating or was it simply that the Army was denied permission to launch an attack? “People knew the army’s prowess. But a political decision needed to be taken. That has now happened under Modiji’s leadership. The mindset of the country has changed.”

Mr. Parrikar said after the surgical strikes many people, including Army veterans, had written to him expressing their willingness to serve the country. “If the nation needs us, we are ready to even come to the border, some veterans wrote,” said Mr. Parikkar.

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