Mumbai: The Shiv Sena today bested the opposition in criticizing the government over the killing and mutilation of two soldiers by Pakistan yesterday. "With the people you do Mann Ki Baat. With Pakistan, you should do Gun Ki Baat," said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai, riffing on the title of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popular radio speeches to urge him to punish Pakistan.
- 2 Indian soldiers killed, then mutilated by Pak yesterday
- Sena, an ally of PM Modi, taunts him over attacks by Pak
- Surgical strikes against Pak have not worked, says Sena
The Sena is a member of the PM's coalition government. It is also his party's junior partner in running Maharashtra. But as one election after another have proved, it has lost ground in its home state to the BJP, which has led it to aggressively prosecute the decisions of both the state and national governments in which it participates.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said last night that the "sacrifices of the soldiers will not be in vain." Top army commander Lt Gen warned his Pakistani counterpart on a hotline today of an "unequivocal response" to yesterday's beheading of the two Indians.
Opposition parties like the Congress have said the government's claims aren't convincing. Some have pointed out that before the BJP came to power, in 2013, when a soldier was beheaded by Pakistan, the party demanded "that for every head lost, we should get 10."
"I want to ask the government: how many for two?" said Congress leader Kapil Sibal, referring to yesterday's attack which took place along the Line of Control in the Poonch sector of Kashmir.
The Shiv Sena made a similar accusation. The PM should explain "how many jawans will be martyred and how many women will be widowed before we give a fitting reply to Pakistan," said its leader, Ramdas Kadam. He also said that the PM, who has led his party's successful campaigns in states like Uttar Pradesh "should focus less on elections and more on security."
Parties including the Sena said that despite surgical strikes against Pakistan in September, audacious attacks on Indian military bases and personnel are occurring frequently. "We did one surgical strike and Pakistan has replied with an answer that is 10 times of what we did," Mr Kadam said.
The surgical strikes, which followed a deadly attack on an army base in Uri by Pakistani terrorists, saw Indian soldiers trekking across the Line of Control to take out launchpads for terrorists in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. The government said that the action proved to Pakistan that India would retaliate immediately to attacks on its security.