Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the first time refuting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claims that his government is only having guts to conduct surgical strikes crossing our borders, said it was “shameful” how PM Modi was using the 2016 surgical strike as well as the recent Balakot airstrike for votes.
He claimed that multiple surgical strikes were carried out by the UPA regime. But, he said that his government never publicised them or use them to garner votes. “Multiple surgical strikes took place during our [UPA] tenure, too. 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,” he added.
He slammed the Modi government for using the valour of the Indian armed forces as a poll plank. Deploring Modi’s campaign tactics, he said “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.”
Manmohan Singh alleged that the politicisation of armed forces was an attempt to divert attention from “unpardonable failures” of the Modi government — economy, jobs and agrarian distress. He said that the Modi government was “riding on an empty rhetoric” of national security.
The former prime minister also responded to criticisms of his handling of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. “In the absence of facts, everyone can re-judge history in hindsight… different geopolitical conditions require different responses. Our response was to isolate and diplomatically expose Pakistan as a terror hub, besides rallying the international community for decisive action against terrorists. We succeeded too,” he added.