The BJP-AAP war of words on cross-LOC surgical strikes on Thursday intensified as the Arvind Kejriwal-led party accused Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of “demeaning” the armed forces and threatened to file a police complaint against him.
Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra called Parrikar “Shah Rangeela”, the Mughal Emperor who it is claimed indulged in merrymaking instead of paying attention to his empire, and said while a high alert has been issued across the country, the Defence Minister was busy “celebrating over the corpses of martyred soldiers”.
It also lashed out Parrikar for his remarks comparing the army to Hanuman.
On 1 October, at an event in Dehradun, Parrikar had made a reference to the Ramayana in which the monkey god crossed an ocean in a single stride after he was reminded about his extraordinary powers by Jamwant.
“Indian troops were like Hanuman who did not quite know their prowess before the surgical strikes,” Parrikar had said.
Addressing a news conference, senior party leader Sanjay Singh said by giving such a statement, Parrikar was insulting the army which has time and again proved itself and did a remarkable job in the 1948, 1965, 1971 and Kargil war with Pakistan.
The AAP said it will approach the police to file a compliant against Parrikar in the matter.
Its attack came on a day Parrikar questioned the “loyalty” of those who doubted the Army and sought proof of surgical strikes across the LoC.
BJP had earlier accused AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal of seeking proof in the garb of his statement congratulating the PM and army on the surgical strike.
AAP also alleged that BJP was doing politics over surgical strikes and claimed that such a military operation was not carried out for the first time as being “tom-tommed” by the saffron party.
“BJP’s GVL Narsimha Rao said that for the first time the army has been made aware of its capability. By saying this, we are demeaning the military and its sacrifice. Such statements are shameful and both Parrikar and Rao should apologise to the armed forces,” Sanjay Singh said, adding that in the last 15 years, surgical strikes were carried out nine times.
The AAP leader’s criticism came after posters congratulating the Prime Minister came up across Delhi and also in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
Mishra asked whether Parrikar has forgotten that army has been honoured with 21 Param Vir Chakra and 63 Ashok Chakra awards.
“You are not aware of army’s strength, which is why the BJP is kneeling before (PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister) Mehbooba Mufti.
“Parrikar is not aware of army’s strength which is why you invited the ISI to investigate the Pathankot attack. Give army the free hand and then it will show the enemy its place,” Kapil Mishra said in his blog post.
On Tuesday, Mishra had publicly taken on Mehbooba at an event here asking her if she considered Burhwan Wani and Afzal Guru as terrorists or not, inviting protests from her entourage. Later he left the venue, saying he does not want to share the dais with her.
Taking a jibe at Prime Minister, Mishra said even Narendra Modi has not applauded the army. “They have made a 56 inch stage and the show is on.”
(With inputs from PTI)