The Congress on Monday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his claim that he asked the Indian Air Force to conduct air strikes in Balakot in Pakistan despite cloudy weather.
“In 70 years, no prime minister mocked military might,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted. “But Modi considered his ‘raw wisdom’ superior to the professionalism of the Army. He is so busy garnering votes in the name of the military that he insulted the Army.”
Surjewala alleged that Modi had “disrespected war strategy”, and committed an “unforgivable crime”.
In an interview to News Nation on Saturday, Modi claimed to have given the Indian Air Force the green signal to proceed with airstrikes in Pakistan’s Balakot area on February 26 despite bad weather because “the clouds could actually help our planes escape the radars”. The prime minister also claimed to have used his “raw wisdom” to dispel the doubts of defence experts planning the Balakot mission. “I am surprised that the country’s pundits who abuse me never figured this out,” he added.
Another Congress spokesperson, Pawan Khera, said Modi was publicising matters that should be kept confidential, PTI reported. “Prime minister is proudly saying that I overruled experts,” he said. “A number of other veterans have condemned this.”
Khera said people were cracking jokes about the prime minister’s comment. He added that the country has been entrusted in the hands of a prime minister who does not know the difference between a weather radar and an avionics radar. “Even if he did not know, he should hide his lack of knowledge rather than display it,” Khera said.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, in a tweet, mocked Modi. “Balakot secret revealed by Modi: “I thought there are clouds, we can escape radar. Ok, go ahead, chal pade [they began their mission],” he said. “Gave clarity to experts confused about launching in bad weather. What a leader, what a mind!”
“We now know that no radar can penetrate Modi’s clouded mind,” he added.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote to the Election Commission on Sunday, demanding action against Modi. The CPI(M) general secretary said the prime minister appeared to be violating the poll panel’s rules with “impunity with damaging consequences for our democracy”, and urged the commission to note that Modi claimed to have “killed the terrorists [himself] not our armed forces”.
The airstrikes – which the Indian government described as a “non-military preemptive action” – were conducted 12 days after a terror attack in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir killed 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force. The Jaish-e-Mohammed group, whose leaders are based in Pakistan, had claimed responsibility.
India claimed that the strike resulted in the deaths of a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis”.