Jaitley mocks Congress for signing up surgical strike hero DS Hooda

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday took a jibe at the Congress party over inducting Lt General (Retd) D S Hooda who oversaw the 2016 surgical strikes, to chalk out its national security manifesto ahead of the Lok Sabha polls was a “belated and grudging recognition and acceptance” of the operation.

Jaitley in his blog said that it was “intriguing” that the Congress which ruled the country for almost half a century needs to be educated on the issues pertaining to security.

“I am sure the Head of the Advisory Panel would tell 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. I have no doubt that Hooda would give very valuable advice to the grand old party,” he wrote in a blog on Friday.

“The appointment of General Hooda is significant. It is a belated and grudging recognition and acceptance of the surgical strikes of 2016 with which the General was intrinsically associated,” he added.

The Union Minister also asked the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress not to give an impression to the world that India is divided on how to fight terrorism. “When the world is rallying around India, the Opposition in India should not be striking a discordant note,” he said.

Lieutenant General D S Hooda (Retired) has been selected to head a Congress task force on national security.
He also urged the leaders of the mainstream political parties not to extend their support to the extremists and separatists raising slogans on how to break India and added: “there is no freedom of speech to advocate a divide in India.”

Also, “when security personnel fight the terrorists and make sacrifices (eg: Batla House), do not legitimize terrorism by standing shoulder to shoulder with the terrorists and call the war against terror as a fake encounter,” he said.

“I am sure there would be many serious inputs relating to the security strategy that experts would give to the Congress Party.

In his concluding remark, the Union Minister also touched upon the issue of Rafale fighter jets deal and stated that “the advisor must also tell the Congress not to serve petty political gains and politicize defense procurement on false and imaginary facts” as it hurts the defense preparedness.