Buoyed by exit poll predictions, Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi with ‘Mr 36’ jibe, says he has ‘absolutely no shame’


Congress President Rahul Gandhi launched a fresh attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi with ‘Mr 36’ jibe adding that the latter has no shame left. Gandhi’s comments came hours after a former army general, who supervised the surgical strike into Pakistan, said that the military endeavour was overhyped and it did not help as much as the BJP and the central government were trying to convince voters about its efficacy.

File Photo: REUTERS

Gandhi tweeted, “Spoken like a true soldier General. India is so proud of you. Mr 36 has absolutely no shame in using our military as a personal asset. He used the surgical strikes for political capital and the Rafale deal to increase Anil Ambani’s real capital by 30,000 Cr.”

Lt General (retired) DS Hooda, who was the Northern Army Commander in September 2016 when Indian troops entered Pakistani territory to destroy terror launch pads along the Line of Control in the wake of the Uri attack, had said that politicising military exercise was not a good idea.

Moderating a discussion at a Military Literature Festival, according to Indian Express, Hooda had said, “Did the overhype help? I say, completely no. If you start having political resonance in military operations, it is not good. There was too much political banter, on both sides, and when military operations get politicised, that is not good.

On the possibility of the strikes impacting the thought process of decision-makers in future operations, the former Army Commander said “if you hype a successful operation, then even success has its burden.”

Modi and his party colleagues have been desperately trying to use the surgical strike as his government’s achievement. The prime minister repeatedly invoked surgical strikes during his election rallies in the just concluded assembly polls in five states. The army general’s revelation came as a huge embarrassment for Modi and his government.

Seizing on the opportunity, Gandhi attacked Modi using Mr 36 jibe in a direct reference to the prime minister’s direct involvement in alleged irregularities in the purchase of 36 Rafale jets from France.

Gandhi is also buoyed by exceedingly positive exit poll predictions for his party in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, where pollsters have indicated return of the Congress.