Congress-leader quits over party's demand for airstrike proofs

Politics

10 Mar 2019

I'm ashamed: Congress leader quits after party demands airstrikes' proof

In what could dampen the spirit of Bihar Congress before crucial Lok Sabha elections, senior leader and spokesman Vinod Sharma resigned on Saturday after being upset that the party demanded proofs of IAF strikes in Balakot, Pakistan.

Sharma sent a letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi and said the demand of proofs was "childish" and that he was "ashamed of being called a Congressman".

Resignation

Sharma accused Congress of breaking Army's morale

Sharma alleged the party's top brass hurt sentiments of ground-level workers by raising questions on pre-emptive strikes launched by IAF on the intervening night of February 25 and 26.

He added the questions which the party posed "hurt sentiments by breaking the Army's morale while boosting the spirits of terrorists."

Sharma served the Congress for 30 years and put down his papers recently.

Disappointment

Congress members are seen as Pakistani agents: Sharma

Sharma added Congress has strayed away from the ethos of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi.

"Today, we (Congress members) are seen as Pakistani agents. I feel ashamed of being called a Congressman. Since the nation is above party, I am resigning from the Congress," he said.

Without taking names, Sharma said he would join a party which puts "country above politics".

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Sharma said party workers may follow his footsteps

Sharma, who served as President of NSUI Bihar from 1996 to 2000, said he wrote to RaGa to tell him about sensibilities of workers, but his concerns weren't entertained. He even said several party workers may follow his footsteps.

Demand

Senior Congress leaders demanded proof of airstrikes

Senior Congress leaders demanded proof of airstrikes

Notably, the airstrikes have gained a lot of attention in political circles. Earlier, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that if the US showed evidence after eliminating Osama bin Laden in 2011, the Centre (ruled by BJP) should do the same.

His colleague Kapil Sibal concurred. Citing international media reports which claimed strikes didn't cause casualties, Sibal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "politicizing terror".

BJP's attack

Quite obviously, BJP didn't leave chance to slam Congress

BJP leaders shot back at Congress after their comments. Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore asked Sibal if he would like to go to Balakot to check the number of casualties.

Similarly, BJP leader Hardeep Puri said, "There isn't a shortage of illiterate people who don't trust the country, but a majority are proud of the nation."

Notably, IAF said the operation was successful.

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