A day after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal released a video message saluting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over surgical strikes along the LoC and urging him to ‘unmask’ Pakistan’s propaganda, BJP Tuesday said his remarks amounted to “seeking proof” of the army action while the AAP hit back saying their rival party was playing politics.
The Aam Aadmi Party activated its machinery after BJP projected Kejriwal’s remarks to be questioning the Indian Army’s assertion. Delhi BJP was quick to stage a demonstration outside Kejriwal’s residence while Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Chief Minister gave Pakistan a chance to question India’s position.
Preempting political damage, Kejriwal spoke to reporters in Jodhpur, put out a series of tweets while senior AAP leaders briefed the media. The party also staged a protest near the Pakistan High Commission here led by its Delhi Convenor Dilip Pandey.
AAP minister Kapil Mishra also attacked J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at an event accusing her of “sheltering terrorists” and sought to know whether she considers as terrorists slain militant Burhan Wani and executed Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
“Why is the BJP cosying up to those who shelter terrorists? What is the compulsion of allowing someone to occupy the chair who does not love the country, who does not say Afzal Guru a terrorist...BJP should answer it,” Mishra told reporters.
However, Kejriwal didn’t entirely abandon his yesterday’s position as he and the party continued to demand the Centre take steps to counter Pakistan’s propaganda and the “remarks by a UN (United Nationa) spokesperson”.
“This false propaganda needs to be effectively countered. No point attacking me. I am wid u. Lets together expose Pak. BJP, I m convinced that strikes took place. But intl media publishing Pak propaganda that no strike took place. Lets expose Pak propaganda (sic),” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.
At the Jodhpur civil airport, Kejriwal told reporters, “I have supported the Prime Minister, applauded the army. I only said Pakistan is spreading false propaganda in the world that surgical strikes did not happen. We all believe that surgical strikes took place.”
Rejecting BJP’s criticism, Kejriwal accused it of playing politics over surgical strikes and asked why was the party “scared” when he had only asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to counter the false propaganda by Pakistan.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh told reporters it was up to the Centre on how it plans to “expose Pakistan’s lies”. He was asked whether the party wants videos of the strike to be released.
In a video message, Kejriwal had yesterday “saluted” Modi for the surgical strikes by the Army on terror launch pads along the LoC.
At the same time, he had urged the Centre to counter the smear campaign by Pakistan and international media, but BJP alleged that Kejriwal had in the garb of his statement questioned the Army’s assertion on surgical strike and insulted the armed forces.
“If I said that we have to counter Pakistan’s false propaganda then why is the BJP so rattled and scared? We all have to counter Pakistan’s propaganda and we should all, irrespective of the party, strengthen PM’s hands in this,” Kejriwal said.
Singh hit out at the BJP for “twisting” Kejriwal’s remarks and accused it of playing politics over the issue. “They twist remarks and play politics while conveniently accusing us of doing so. Who have put up posters across the country on the surgical strikes with Modiji’s image? Does not that amount to politics?” Singh asked.
Claiming that Kejriwal “sought proof” on the anti-terror operation, the BJP asked him not to belittle the armed forces by getting influenced by Pakistani “propaganda”.
At a press conference today, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the AAP leader should answer whether he believed in the Indian Army or not.
Kejriwal later retorted, “I am unhappy. Ravi Shankar ji is saying I am playing politics. Am I playing politics or they?” “I and my party are with Narendra Modi in his every step against Pakistan and its mischiefs,” said Kejriwal.
Senior AAP leader Ashutosh said Pakistan is insulting ‘Bharat Mata’ and Indian army through its propaganda, but BJP is settling score with Kejriwal.
“I am amazed that Ravi Shankar Prasad instead of unmasking Pak Propaganda is questioning AK. Shows BJP’s bankruptcy of ideas(sic),” Ashutosh tweeted.
Earlier, the Delhi Assembly had passed a resolution congratulating Modi, the entire political leadership and the armed forces for the action against PoK-based terror camps.