Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Wednesday, 1 May, asserted that the entire army is standing with the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Today, the entire Army is standing with the BJP and Narendra Modi. They can’t possibly be standing with them just for the sake of it (aise hi to nhi khadi hui). I know what used to happen there (in the Army)," Rathore told news agency ANI in Jaipur.
His remarks come amid ongoing controversies over some BJP leaders invoking defence forces in their elections speeches.
Mocking the claims made by the Congress that its government had conducted six surgical strikes in the past, Rathore said: "They should keep these surgical strikes (claims) to themselves.”
“I was in the Army, and so I am aware of what exactly happened and what didn't," Rathore, who is also a former Army Colonel, said.
On Thursday, 25 April, the Congress claimed that six surgical strikes were conducted during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 10-year tenure.
The UPA government carried out six surgical strikes – Bhattal sector in Poonch (19 June 2008); Sharda sector, across Neelam River Valley, in Kel (30 August -1 September 2011); Sawan Patra checkpost (6 January 2013); Nazapir sector (27-28 July 2013); Neelam Valley (6 August 2013); and one on 23 December 2013, Congress spokesperson Rajiv Shukla had told reporters at the AICC briefing.
Shukla also listed two surgical strikes carried out under the previous BJP-led NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. These were Nadala Enclave, across the Neelam River (21 January 2000) and Baroh sector in Poonch (18 September 2003), he said.
(With inputs from ANI)