Hold armed forces in highest esteem, my questions were to government and not defence officials — Digvijaya Singh
New Delhi, Jan. 24 (PTI): Slammed by his own party and the BJP for his remarks on surgical strikes, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday sought to damage control, saying he held the armed forces in highest esteem and his questions were pointed at the government and not defence officials.
He said he was not questioning the armed forces but the Modi government as he as a responsible citizen has the right to know the facts.
“I have held our armed forces in highest esteem. Two of my sisters were married to naval officers….There is no question of my asking questions to defence officials. My questions are to the Modi government,” he said on Twitter.
“Who is responsible for the unpardonable intelligence failure where our 40 CRPF personnel were martyred? From where the terrorist could source 300 kg of RDX? Why was the request by CRPF to airlift the CRPF personnel denied,” he asked.
Addressing a public meeting during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, Singh had questioned the surgical strikes and accused the government of peddling lies. His remarks triggered a huge political controversy with the BJP targeting him, the Congress and Rahul Gandhi who is leading the foot march.
“The DNA of Congress is Pakistan-parast (pro-Pakistan)…. They are committing the sin of lowering the morale of the armed forces. This shows they are standing with Pakistan,” Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
As the political controversy escalated, the Congress distanced itself from Singh’s remarks and Gandhi rebuffed him calling his statement “ridiculous”.
The armed forces are doing their job “exceptionally well” and do not need to give any proof, Gandhi told a press conference in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Singh sought to damage control and posed some questions to the government.
“Why was Devinder Singh DySP who hails from Pulwama after being captured by J&K police with terrorists let off? Pulwama is one of the most terrorist infested location, why was the area and vehicles not checked and sanitised,” Singh asked.
“These are my valid questions to the Modi government. Don’t I as a responsible citizen have a right to know the facts? Who has been punished for this serious lapse? In any other country the Home Minister would have been made to resign,” the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister also said.
Congress leader and ex-serviceman Praveen Davar, however, sought to defend his party colleague saying, “Let us not misunderstand Digvijaya Singh. He has spoken against the Modi government and certainly not against the Army. Nobody holds monopoly over nationalism much less those who mix religion with politics. Let’s not drag Army into politics please.”
Singh had on Tuesday alleged that the government did not agree to the CRPF request of flying its personnel from Srinagar to Delhi and 40 soldiers sacrificed their lives in Pulwama in 2019 to a terror attack.
“They talk of surgical strikes. They claim to have killed so many people but no proof is given. They are ruling by peddling a bundle of lies,” the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, who has often courted controversy with his comments, said.