Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury took a swipe at Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane this afternoon, over his statement on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Mr Chowdhury, who is the party's leader in the Lok Sabha, advised the newly-appointed Army Chief to "talk less and work more". The Congress leader's sharp retort comes just days after General Naravane told NDTV that the Army was prepared for large-scale operations in PoK "should that be the mandate" from the government.
Referring to a resolution passed unanimously by parliament in 1994, which emphasises that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that Pakistan must withdraw forces from areas it has occupied, Mr Chowdhury also suggested General Naravane "confabulate with CDS (Chief of Defence Staff - former Army Chief General Bipin Rawat) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi" if he wanted to take action against PoK.
"@New Army Chief, Parliament already had adopted unanimous resolution on #POK in 1994. Government is at liberty to take action and may give direction. If you are so inclined to take action on POK, I would suggest you to confabulate with CDS, and @PMOIndia. Talk Less, Work More," Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tweeted.
@ New Army Chief,— Adhir Chowdhury (@adhirrcinc) January 12, 2020
Parliament already had adopted unanimous resolution on #POK in 1994, Govt is at liberty to take action and may give direction. If you are so inclined to take action on POK, I would suggest you to confabulate with CDS, and @PMOIndia. Talk Less, Work More
Shortly after taking charge General Naravane spoke to NDTV and said the Army had "various plans" for operations in PoK and was ready for "any task".
Asked if that included large-scale PoK operations he said: "Should that be the mandate".
The Army Chief also reaffirmed his force's allegiance to the core values of the constitution and the values of the preamble which describes India as a secular, democratic republic.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's tweet on PoK and reference to the 1994 resolution will bring back unpleasant memories for his party.
Taking on the centre over withdrawal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Chowdhury appeared to suggest that decisions concerning the former state were not an internal matter.
"...you (Home Minister Amit Shah) say it is an internal matter...from 1948 Kashmir is being monitored by the UN, is that an internal matter? You should explain," he said.
Congress's Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, both of whom were in parliament at the time, appeared shocked amid chants of "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and "Vande Mataram" from government benches.
General MM Naravane has had tough words for Pakistan since he became Army Chief.
Last month he issued a strongly-worded warning to desist from sponsoring terrorism, saying: "we reserve the right to pre-emptively strike at sources of terror".