Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s response to his comment about autonomy in Jammu and Kashmir showed he had not fully read the statement. Modi is imagining a ghost and attacking it, Chidambaram told ANI.

Chidambaram had on Saturday said that when most people of Jammu and Kashmir seek azadi, they mean autonomy. The Congress has distanced itself from the statement and described it as the “opinion of an individual”.

“It is obvious the PM has not read the whole answer to the question put to me on Jammu and Kashmir,” Chidambaram said. “Those who criticise must read the whole answer and tell me which word in the answer was wrong.”

Earlier in the day, Modi had criticised the Congress after the former Union Minister asked the Centre to consider autonomy as an option for Jammu and Kashmir. He said: “Why are Congress leaders lending their voice to those who want Azadi in Kashmir? This is an insult to our brave soldiers.”

The prime minister linked Chidambaram’s comment on autonomy to the Congress raising questions about the surgical strike. “Now I can imagine why the Congress were angry after surgical strike,” Modi said.

In response to Modi’s criticism, Chidambaram on Sunday also said that neither his party nor he had criticised the surgical strikes. “We pointed out that these were cross-border actions and such actions had been done in the past too, as admitted by the Army Chief,” he said.