Thiruvananthapuram: All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Oommen Chandy hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), here on Monday, stating the Congress didn't need to learn about patriotism from the BJP.
"The Congress is a party that was led by Indira Gandhi, whom Atal Bihari Vajpayee had described as 'Durga' after the 1971 Bangladesh war. We don't need to learn patriotism from the BJP," Chandy said.
He said the Congress only questioned the manner in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using national security for political gains.
"Modi's comment that the Congress is asking for proof of the air strike by the Indian Air Force at Balakot in Pakistan is baseless. The Service Chiefs have said they did not count casualties of the air strike.
"However, some sections of the media reported that 300 people were killed. The figure could have been unofficially provided by the government. We are not questioning that. But the international media, after visiting the site of the strike, reported the figure was not true," said Chandy.
He also pointed out Union Minister S.S. Ahluwalia's remarks that the air strike was meant to "warn the terrorists and not kill them." But the country believed the operation was carried out to eliminate terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC), Chandy said.
"The onus is now on Modi to come out with figures of what actually happened in Balakot. Incidentally, it was a BJP leader who said the party will gain political mileage from the attack," said Chandy.
"The Congress and the people of the country stand with the armed forces," said the two-time former Kerala Chief Minister.
The Indian Air Force on February 26 conducted an air strike in Pakistan's Balakot targeting a Jaish-e Mohammad training camp, the militant group that claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF troopers were slain.