In yet another issue which has been given a political turn by the opposition, senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambaram has questioned the Army chief over 'the number of surgical strikes that have taken place in the past 20 years'.
Over the weekend, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Bipin Rawat told media that following the barbaric acts by Pakistan in Kashmir, 'time has come to reply in a similar manner'. On the topic whether Army may conduct yet another surgical strike, he suggested that 'it is a weapon of surprise', hinting that a repeat of 2016 may well be on the cards.
But his comments, which warned Pakistan of a strong reply, combined with the government's decision to celebrate the Surgical strike Day on 29 September, has been given a political turn by Congress.
Chidambaram, on his official Twitter handle, questioned General Bipin Rawat over the surgical strike. His message read, "Army Chief says that there is need for another surgical strike. Good, he is the best judge. But will he please tell us how many surgical strikes (cross border action against Pakistan) have taken place in the last 20 years."
The ex-Home and Finance Minister isn't the first leader from Congress or opposition raise voice against Surgical strike. Soon after the HRD ministry announced that it has issued an advisory to all schools and colleges to observe September 29 as "Surgical strike day", the opposition came out all guns blazing in their attack on the government.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, that the UGC directive is just another mean to serve BJP’s political agenda. "UGC directs VC’s of all universities to celebrate 29th September as Surgical Strike Day. Is this meant to educate or to serve BJP’s political ends? Will UGC dare celebrate 8th November as Surgical Strike Day depriving the poor of their livelihoods ? This another jumla!" wrote Sibal on Twitter.
Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, while criticising the move, said, "This is BJP's agenda. And, BJP is trying to implement it before elections. They are using UGC for this. We have enough respect for the country and we also respect our armed forces. If they want to pay tribute to the martyrs, we have no objection. But, why celebrate Surgical Strike? It's important to pay tribute to the martyrs."