Congress leader Sam Pitroda on Friday asked the government to come out with “more facts” on the Balakot air strikes, and said that he was “baffled” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reaction to his question, which he was entitled to ask.
Mr. Pitroda, chief of Indian Overseas Congress, also said it was good to have a debate, discussion, dialogue and discourse, and it does not amount to questioning anyone.
Earlier, Mr. Modi, using the hashtag ‘Janta Maaf Nahi Karegi’ (people will not forgive) in a tweet, attacked Mr. Pitroda for reportedly saying he wanted to “know more” about the Balakot air attack, including number of terrorists killed.
Several BJP leaders, including BJP chief Amit Shah, slammed Mr. Pitroda for his remarks.
“All I said is, can we get more facts, that’s all. I don’t know why this whole confusion… In democracy you are entitled to ask a question. It is good to have a debate, discussion, dialogue, discourse,” Mr. Pitroda told PTI.
“My asking a question should not create the kind of reaction it has created, even at the level of the prime minister. I am baffled,” the technocrat-turned-politician said.
Attacking Mr. Pitroda, Mr. Modi also said: “Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew — Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India- we will answer terrorists in a language they understand and with interest!”
Mr. Pitroda also asserted that he was neither questioning the armed forces as being alleged by the BJP and the prime minister, nor the government. “I am just saying give me more facts,” he said.
Days after the Pulwama terror attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans, Indian Air Force fighter jets bombed terror group JeM training camp near Balakot inside Pakistan on February 26.
Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans.