Congress’ senior leader Kapil Sibal , who was fielded to defend Gandhi, said the party vice president had lauded the Prime Minister when he said “Modi finally acted like a true PM”.
“We defend the strikes, but stop this propaganda. It is wrong to claim credit for the sacrifice made by the jawans,” he said and attacked Amit Shah for criticising Gandhi.
“Those who were in jail, got externed, had murder cases against them are telling us that we are at fault,” Sibal said.
Sibal defended Rahul Gandhi’s accusation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “trading in the blood of soldiers”, saying the party vice-president knew what he was saying and people of the country understand the sentiment behind his words.
Arvind Kejriwal, who himself is facing flack over his remarks on the Army’s surgical strikes across the LoC, also disapproved of Rahul’s remark and urged political parties to set aside their differences and rally behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Our soldiers valiantly carried out surgical strikes and demolished terror addresses. I have previously done so and want to congratulate the Army once again for this. I strongly criticise Rahul Gandhi’s remarks wherein he said Army’s sacrifices and bravery was ‘khoon ki dalali’,” he said.
RJD President Lalu Prasad also disapproved of Rahul’s remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he failed to put across his views properly.
“Rahul Gandhi ko apni baat theek se rakhni nahi aai (Rahul Gandhi failed to put across his views properly),” Lalu told reporters when asked to comment on Congress leader’s ‘dalali’ remark against the PM in the wake of controversy over the surgical strikes in POK.
Lalu said there was a need to give even stronger punishment to Pakistan.
“I am with the country’s Army and there is a need to give even more stronger injection to Pakistan,” he said.
BJP chief Amit Shah launched a blistering attack on Rahul, saying he had “crossed all limits” and had “insulted” the Army’s valour .
“By making ‘khoon ki dalali’ remarks, Rahul Gandhi has crossed all limits. It was an extreme. By choosing such words, he insulted the bravery of our soldiers and 125 crore people of India,” Shah said.
Suggesting that those casting doubts on the authenticity of surgical strikes are “anti-India” leaders, he said, “The whole country, BJP and its government are standing firmly behind the Army. We do not believe in the comments of anti-India leaders. We believe in the Army’s bullets.”
Rahul was attacked not just by the BJP, but even some allies of the Congress who disapproved of his remark over the surgical strikes.
The NCP, which is an UPA ally, criticised Rahul Gandhi and said, “the Congress vice-president should have refrained from using such words.”
“Rahul Gandhi is the leader of the principal opposition party, which is perhaps the oldest organisation in the world. He should have shown refrained from using such words,” NCP MP D P Tripathi told reporters here.
Meanhwile, Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad taking a dig at Congress’s defence said, “Devotion (in Congress) to Rahul Gandhi is more in order of priority than devotion to the country and defending Rahul is more important than defending the country,” Ravi shankar Prasad said slamming the Congress leader for his remarks.