Union Minister VK Singh today slammed the Congress for demanding casualty figures in the Balakot air strike, saying that it was not a "game of marbles" where an exact score can be kept. News agency PTI quoted him as saying that the armed forces are not required to give proof of their actions, and asked whether any such demand was made for the wars fought since 1947.
Opposition parties had earlier criticised BJP chief Amit Shah for claiming that 250 had died in the Indian Air Force strike on Balakot, asking how he managed to get hold of such top secret information.
According to news agency ANI, the Union Minister defended Mr Shah's statement by saying that he had only given an approximate count of terrorists killed in the Balakot attack. "The number he cited, 250, was an estimate based on the number of people in the buildings that were hit. He did not say it was a confirmed figure," he added.
Mr Singh said that the only way to get an exact figure of dead terrorists would be to physically count the bodies. "Otherwise, you assess available information to arrive at a figure and give it to the people. The exact figure will be known only if you are present there. This is not a game of marbles, but a serious matter. No proof is given for action taken by the forces," PTI quoted him as saying.
On Congress leader Digvijaya Singh terming the Pulwama terror attack as an "accident", the former Army chief said: "With due respect, I would like to ask Digvijaya Singh if Rajiv Gandhi's killing was a terrorist act or an accident?"
The BJP minister said the air strike on the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp showed the decision-making strength of the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We have never taken such a decision since 1947, going deep inside (striking in Pakistan), which is a big decision. It shows India's state of mind in the fight against terrorism. A big decisive turn has come under this leadership," he said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also criticised the opposition for "demanding an exact number of dead terrorists" from the government. "If my Congress friends feel that they should be told about the numbers, I would like to ask them to go to Pakistan and count how many were killed," he said after inaugurating a Border Security Force project in Assam's Dhubri.
(With inputs from Agencies)