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Surgical Strikes Revealed By Army, Not Defence Minister, Says Amit Shah

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NEW DELHI: After the surgical strikes across the Line of Control, the government left the announcement of the action to the army, BJP president Amit Shah said today. He said it was “the DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) and not Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who briefed reporters about soldiers traveling into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir last week.

Mr Shah offered this as proof that the opposition is wrongly accusing it of trying to grab credit from the army for the raids in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir which targeted terrorists. However, the BJP chief stressed, “the achievement is the army’s, but the determination and political intent is Prime Minister Modi’s.”

As key states like Uttar Pradesh prepare to vote, Mr Shah did not deny that the strikes will feature in his party’s campaign. “We will go to the people with this issue -because every responsible party should motivate the army.”

Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, who initially praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the strikes, have accused him and the ruling BJP of trying to score political points from the army’s action and the courage of its soldiers. They have also asked the government to present proof of the strikes, which have been denied by Pakistan as “fabrication of the truth.”

“We condemn the politicisation of the strikes,” said the BJP chief today.

PM Modi has cautioned his ministers against “chest-thumping” about the strikes, but posters put up by his party in Uttar Pradesh present him and the Defence Minister as heroic figures. The posters do not reflect the thinking of the top leadership, said Mr Shah, attributing them to over-enthusiasm by workers in Uttar Pradesh, which will vote soon for its next government.

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