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What took you so long, BJP asks Rahul Gandhi as he disavows Digvijaya Singh’s statement on surgical strikes

Ravi Shankar Prasad says Rahul has a “vacillating” stand on the armed forces

January 24, 2023 10:00 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:21 am IST - NEW DELHI

Former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The BJP on January 24, 2023 demanded to know why it took so long for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to express his respect for and trust on India’s armed forces, after the latter distanced the party from statements made by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. Mr. Singh had said that there was no proof that surgical strikes in retaliation for the Uri and Pulwama attacks had taken place. 

In a press conference at the BJP’s headquarters in New Delhi, former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress had a habit of terming the “uncomfortable views” expressed by its leaders as “their personal views”.

Mr. Prasad said that Mr. Digvijaya Singh “has a history of taking controversial stands”, be it visiting families of suspected terrorists killed in the Batla House encounter or “praising” radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

He attacked Mr. Gandhi for what he termed the latter’s “vacillating” stand on the armed forces, citing some of his previous remarks, including a recent comment in Dausa during the Bharat Jodo Yatra questioning the government’s handling of the border standoff with China and claiming that the Chinese were thrashing Indian soldiers.

“Why did it take him so many years to say publicly that he respects armed forces?” Mr. Prasad asked. “He [Rahul Gandhi] should have also said ‘sorry’ for what he had said earlier,” he added.

He also took a dig at Congress leader Jairam Ramesh for physically preventing a journalist from asking Mr. Singh questions about his statement on the surgical strikes and the Pulwama terror attack of 2019.

Mr. Gandhi, in a press conference, on Tuesday said that he and the Congress did not agree with Mr. Singh’s comments on surgical strikes and that the armed forces do not need to give any proof. “I don’t agree with the statement of Digvijaya Singh. It is crystal clear that we disagree with it. It is the official position of the Congress,” Mr. Gandhi told reporters in Jammu and Kashmir.

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