Slamming the Narendra Modi government, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that “multiple surgical strikes” were conducted even during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) tenure but BJP government has publicised surgical strikes in an effort to gain electoral mileage and draw attention away from its many failures.
Singh’s remarks come at a time when the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has made national security one of the main talking points of its election campaign.
Speaking to Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview, Singh said that multiple surgical strikes were done during the tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government which he headed but alleged that never before had an Indian government needed to ride on the achievements of the army as it is doing now.
He continued saying, “For us, military operations were meant for strategic deterrence and giving a befitting reply to anti-India forces than to be used for vote garnering exercises.”
“In the past 70 years, a government in power never had to hide behind the valour of our armed forces. Such attempts to politicize our forces are shameful and unacceptable. All this is being done to draw the attention away from unpardonable failures of Modi Government on the economic front, on jobs, on rural distress, on MSMEs and the informal sector,” Singh added.
Slamming the BJP for inviting Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI to probe the Pathankot Air Base terror attack of 2016, Singh said that it was the biggest strategic blunder by the BJP government.
Ever since the 2016 surgical strike, and especially on the campaign trail leading up to and through the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party has relied heavily on the alleged success of the Uri and Balakot surgical strikes.