A day after the Congress signed up Lt Gen D S Hooda (Retired), architect of the 2016 surgical strikes, to craft its national security manifesto ahead of the general elections later this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took a dig at the party, saying it signalled a "belated and grudging recognition and acceptance" of the operation.
The BJP has long accused the Congress of disrespecting the armed forces by raising questions on the military op. The Congress has maintained that it has only denounced the politicisation of the surgical strikes.
Acknowledging Lt General Hooda as an experienced and distinguished former officer of the Indian Army, Mr Jaitley said, "I have not the least doubt that he would give a very valuable advice to the grand old party".
In a blog post, the Finance Minister said the appointment of the retired general was "intriguing" since it showed that the Congress needed lessons on national security despite being ruling India for half a century.
He also asked the Congress not to give an impression that India is divided on how to fight terrorism.
"I am sure the Head of the Advisory Panel would educate the party leaders that the surgical strikes were no routine step which had been taken several times in the past, but a significant first for India," he said.
On September 29, 2016, the army had carried out the strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in retaliation to an attack on its base in Uri earlier that month.
Arun Jaitley also referenced the 2008 Batla House encounter, the 2004 Ishrat Jahan case and the row over alleged anti-national slogans at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016 to target the Congress in the blog post titled ''What it's Advisor's Must Tell the Congress Party on National Security''.
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