The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday strongly criticised Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using the death of Indian soldiers in Kashmir for political gains, PTI reported. The BJP said Gandhi's comments brought Indian politics to a "new low". His remarks stem from "frustration" over Modi "securing praise for his handling of cross-border terrorism" and India's dispute with Pakistan, the party said.

Addressing a gathering at the Congress' "Kisan Yatra" at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, Gandhi said, ''Jo hamare jawan hain jinhone...Jammu and Kashmir mein khoon diya hai, jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strike kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai. [You (Modi) are hiding behind the blood soldiers shed in Kashmir and the blood of those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong.]"

BJP's National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said, "It is most shameful. His [Gandhi's] remarks reflect his mental bankruptcy." Referring to the Congress' alleged involvement in the 2G, Commonwealth Games and coal scams, Sharma said "dalali" was part of the party's nature.

Gandhi's statements follow his party member Sanjay Nirupam's comments that raised doubts over the authenticity of the Army's surgical strikes along the Line of Control with Pakistan on September 29. The Congress had distanced itself from Nirupam's allegations and even said it "unequivocally supported the Indian Armed Forces" and the Centre's efforts to fight terrorism. Relations between India and Pakistan worsened after the militant attack on the Army's Uri base on September 18.