Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday distanced himself from senior party leader Digvijaya Singh after the latter questioned the authenticity of India’s surgical strikes on neighbouring Pakistan.
The Gandhi scion made it clear that Singh's remarks reflected his personal views and did not jive with the party line. Gandhi emphasised that he has the utmost respect for the Indian Army.
"We don't appreciate Digvijaya Singh's personal views. His views are outlying views. We are absolutely clear that the Armed Forces do their job exceptionally well and they do not need to provide proof of that,” Rahul Gandhi said while addressing a press conference.
Digvijaya Singh was conspicuous by his absence from the press interaction today after his controversial remark stoked a political backlash.
Speaking during the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu on Monday, Digvijaya Singh had expressed doubts over the cross-border military operation. "They (Centre) talk about surgical strikes and that they have killed so many of them but there is no proof. They are ruling by peddling a bundle of lies", he had said.
In September 2016, India conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) as a response to a terrorist attack on an Army base in the Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Congress distanced itself from Singh's remarks questioning the 2019 surgical strikes, saying the views do not reflect the position of the party, which supports all military actions that are in national interest.
"The views expressed by senior leader Digvijaya Singh are his own and do not reflect the position of Congress. Surgical strikes were carried out before 2014 by UPA government. Congress has supported and will continue to support all military actions that are in the national interest," AICC general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh said on Twitter Monday.
Singh's remarks drew sharp criticism from the BJP, which accused the Congress of "insulting" the armed forces after being "blinded" by its "hate" for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Backtracking after his comment kicked up a hornet’s nest, Digvijaya Singh said earlier today that he has the greatest regard for the armed forces.