Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who led the government during the ten years of UPA, has lied. In his interview with Hindustan Times with former NDTV journalist Suneta Choudhury, who was excited when Modi was diagnosed with swine flu, Dr Manmohan Singh said that ‘multiple surgical strikes’ took place during his tenure as the prime minister.
Stating that the armed forces were given a free hand to operationally respond to threats, Dr Singh said, “Multiple surgical strikes took place during our tenure too. For us, military operations were meant for strategic deterrence and giving a befitting reply to anti-India forces than to be used for vote garnering exercises.”
However, the DGMO (Director-General of Military Operations) in a reply to an RTI filed said that there are no records or proofs of any surgical strike being carried out prior to September 29, 2016. The DGMO was responding to a specific question about surgical strikes being carried out between 2004 and 2014.
Earlier too, Congress has peddled the lie that UPA government had carried out surgical strikes too. Right after the Uri surgical strike, Congress’ Randeep Surjewala had said that such strikes were conducted in UPA tenure too. “We are proud that even in the past our forces have successfully conducted such surgical strikes on numerous occasions, he had said at a press briefing right after the surgical strike. Giving specifics, he had said, “Particularly on September 1, 2011, July 28, 2013, and January 14, 2014, giving a befitting reply to the enemy. In its maturity, wisdom and in the interest of national security, the Congress Government avoided making loud claims for the effective response and action of the Indian Army. Not just the Congress government, the previous governments too had conducted surgical strikes.”
The DGMO at the Integrated Headquarters of Defense Ministry(Army) clarified in a statement that, “This section does not maintain records of any other surgical strikes if any conducted earlier.”
In addition, the RTI application had also sought the definition of surgical strikes in the Indian Army. The DGMO said, “As per the information available in ‘open source’ the definition of ‘surgical strike’ is ‘…an operation which is planned based on specific intelligence, on a legitimate military target for maximum effect and with minimum or no collateral damage. It involves deliberate insertion to the target area, precise execution and swift extrication of the body of troops back to the base’.”
Despite Army’s categorical denial, former Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh lied.
This is not the first time he has lied. During the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly elections, Dr Singh had lied that Prime Minister Modi who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat never discussed the Narmada with him. And he lied about Narmada issue while campaigning in Gujarat not once, but twice.
It is rather unfortunate that the leader who chose to remain silent for ten years as a prime minister, lies when he finally decides to speak up.