Raj campaign: Rahul & Shah lock horns on surgical strike

Raj campaign: Rahul & Shah lock horns on surgical strike

Agency News

Jaipur, Dec 1 : The war of words in campaigning for December 7 Assembly elections in Rajasthan got shriller as two main contenders to power, the ruling BJP and the rival Congress on Saturday locked horns over issue of the army's surgical strike.

With four more days left for the campaigning, the parties are floating newer issues to put in fix the rival. As the grand old party President Rahul Gandhi picked up the issue of army's surgical strike across Line of Control in Pakistan Occupied Areas of Jammu and Kashmir in 2016, the saffron party Chief Amit Shah wasted no time in countering the Congress stance.

Participating in an interactive session in Udaipur this morning, Mr Gandhi held that the nod for the strikes was given keeping the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in view.

He said that during the previous (Congress ruled) regimes surgical strikes were carried at least thrice. However, the army did not want people to know about it and kept it secret. The then government did take the line, the way the army wanted.

This time too, the army would not have liked to make it public and maintain secrecy about the action but Mr Modi did not want that way, Gandhi said, adding that they (BJP) were losing election in Uttar Pradesh, they converted army's might in political asset.

The Congress Chief's stance evoked sharp and quick reaction from BJP president Shah who is campaigning in the state for a couple of days.

Addressing a meeting in Phalodi town in Jodhpur district Mr Shah said "We carried the surgical strike to revenge the terror attack on Uri army station."Rahul Baba by linking the army's action to Uttar Pradesh polls tried to politicise the same".

"This way he has insulted the martyrs who laid the supreme sacrifice for the cause of the nation. He should feel ashamed for it", the ruling party leader said.

He termed the Congress party in Rajasthan as leaderless (for not naming CM candidates) and said you can not win a battle without commander. Stop day dreaming (elections win), Rahul Baba", he quipped.

Besides Phalodi, Shah also addressed meetings in Balotra, Baytoo and Barmer. On Friday too, Mr Shah tried to target Gandhi by branding his brother-in-law Robert Vadra a beneficiary (by commission) in loan sanction to a big company and also in irregular land deals in Rajasthan under previous Congress regime.

The Congress president during interactive session, besides raising issue of surgical strikes, also targeted PM Modi with Hinduism barb.

Gandhi questioned the PM's understanding on the very essence of Hinduism.

This raked up another verbal row and evoked sharp criticism from the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.

Gandhi on Saturday also held three meetings in Bhilwara, Chittorgarh and Hanumangarh.

Besides the two top leaders of rival parties, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, former UP Chief Minister Mayawati and Punjab Minister former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu also visited the state on Saturday to contribute in the campaigning for their respective parties.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, her predecessor and AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot and party state president Sachin Pilot have been doing campaign for the party for weeks.(UNI)