The first sadr-e-riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir and veteran Congress leader Karan Singh said on Tuesday that breaking Pakistan into two was one of several surgical strikes conducted by Congress governments in the past.
“They (BJP) project themselves only nationalists on earth but had to go a long way to match the Congress’ nationalistic credentials. They say Congress had done nothing but they need to revisit history and read about strikes in Congress-led governments,” Singh said while campaign for his son Vikramaditya Singh, who is contesting on Congress mandate from Udhampur-Doda-Kathua seat, which he had represented earlier.
“When Congress party conducted strikes in 1971, I was minister in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet. Though we did not talk much about it, we not only created history but geography as well when we broke Pakistan into two pieces and created a new country Bangladesh,” he said, and added that over 90000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered before Indian armed forces and “became prisoners of war.”
Taking a dig at the Modi-led government for allegedly using forces in election campaign, the 88-year-old veteran leader said: “Our forces are an apolitical organisation and asset of the nation. Politicising and interfering in their working for electoral benefits is wrong and the people at helm should refrain from this act.”
He, however added, “we are proud of our Air Force which recently conducted successful strikes”.He said that several people from Jammu and Kashmir, particularly Dogras, have been proudly serving in the armed forces.“So nobody needs to teach us nationalism.”
He added that the election is meant for electing a deserving candidate who will represent the constituency in the parliament.“They (BJP) will come to you and sell many dreams. They drag armed forces into politics to gain emotional support but you have to understand that contest is not between Vikramaditya Singh and Narendra Modi,” Karan Singh said.
“The fight in Udhampur constituency is between Vikramaditya Singh, Jitendra Singh, Lal Singh and Harshdev Singh and people have to decide who deserves to be your representative and will able to highlight your issues in the parliament.”
Praising the Dogra rule in the state, Singh said, “Those calling Jammu and Kashmir as integral part of the country should thank the people of the state and acknowledge sacrifices of Dogras who extended its boundaries to Russia and China,” he said, adding: “We handed over the same state to you in writing (instrument of accession) but you lost half of its part.”