PM should stop using individual's opinion to spread venom Cong after row over Pitroda's remark

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP should stop using an individual's "personal opinion" to "spread venom", in an apparent reference to comments by Sam Pitroda on Balakot air strike which have triggered a political row.

Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said his party has "unequivocally" said the Pulwama terror attack was a "grave national security failure" of the Modi government.

Balakot air strike was a shining example of the valour of the Indian Air Force and Pakistan's terror outfits like JeM and LeT and others will never succeed in their evil design, he said.

"Modiji and BJP should stop using an individual's personal opinion to spread venom! Instead of hiding behind the sacrifice of our armed forces, PM must answer to Nation on -- jobs crisis, agrarian distress, demonetisation & GST disasters & economic downturn," Surjewala tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi, using the hashtag 'Janta maaf nahi karegi' (people will not forgive) in a tweet, attacked Indian Overseas Congress chief Pitroda for reportedly saying "Eight people(26/11 terrorists) come and do something, you don't jump on entire nation(Pakistan). Naive to assume that just because some people came here &attacked, every citizen of that nation is to be blamed. I don't believe in that way".

Tagging a news report carrying Pitroda's remarks, Modi said, "The most trusted advisor and guide of the Congress President has kick-started the Pakistan National Day celebrations on behalf of the Congress, ironically by demeaning India's armed forces. Shame!"
"Loyal courtier of Congress' royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew -- Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India- we will answer terrorists in a language they understand and with interest!."

Several BJP leaders, including BJP chief Amit Shah, slammed Pitroda for his remarks.

Amid the controversy, Pitroda on Friday asked the government to come out with "more facts" on the Balakot air strikes, and said that he was "baffled" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reaction to his question which he was entitled to ask.

Surjewala too slammed Modi'd remarks and alleged that Prime Minister Modi was "busy shooting films in Corbett Park" and giving a speech as nation mourned Pulwama martyrs.

The Modi government was "clueless as RDX, MI carbines and rocket launchers were smuggled in to be used in Pulwama", the Congress' chief spokesperson said.

The BJP government released Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and other terrorists, he said.

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PTI