Manohar Parrikar was the Defence Minister when the Army conducted the Surgical Strike on terror camps beyond the LoC

Hitting out at Opposition for raising doubts over the surgical strikes by the Indian Army at Pakistani posts in 2016, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday asked whether the security forces should have taken Rahul Gandhi along while executing the operation.

“What do the opposition parties claim? That they (surgical strikes) were not carried out. Look at the negativity. Should I have taken you (Opposition) along? Should I have told the army that take Rahul Gandhi along and carry out the surgical strikes? ” said Parrikar who was the then Defence Minister, when the Army carried out the strikes.

Lauding the Army operation, Parrikar said, “The most important thing about surgical strikes is the secrecy. Only PM, me, Army chief and Director General of Military Operation knew. Other than the four of us, those who knew were core commander, Army commander in Srinagar and those who executed it.

Parrikar was speaking at the New India Conclave in Delhi which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Addressing the conclave, Modi said, “Gone are the days when India was considered to be among the ‘Fragile Five’. Today, we are the fastest growing economy in the world. Powered by the 125 Crore people of India, we will grow even faster.

The Congress had a week after the surgical strikes, asked the BJP government to come out with “credible” evidence to “expose” Pakistan, which had denied any such action.

Parrikar’s statement comes in the backdrop of the Surgical strikes videos that were broadcast across television channels. The Congress had accused the BJP government of using the Army action for political gains to fetch votes. It questioned the timing of the release of the video and argued that the Narendra Modi government, which claimed credit for the Army action, had mistreated the armed forces by not providing them state-of-the-art equipment and slashing their budgetary allocation.