The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday accused Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of misusing the Indian Army's accomplishments for political gains and also belittling its legacy. AAP leader Dilip Pandey said: "If you (Parrikar) ignore the Indian Army's history, and instead praise yourself and the Prime Minister for the army's feats, there can be no other example of abuse of its accomplishments." Pandey's comments came closely in the wake of Parrikar's statement in Mumbai earlier in the day that a major share of the credit for the September 29 surgical strikes goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "It was Parrikar-ji who said in a statement a few days back that they (the BJP-led central government) reminded the Indian Army about its strength. He forgets that it was the Indian Army which thwarted the enemy in 1948, 1965, 1971 and during the Kargil war (in 1999)," he said.
The AAP leader also said that ever since the September 29 surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party has been politicising the issue. Pandey said questioning the BJP does not mean questioning the Indian Army."But this is exactly what the BJP wants to portray. I want to reiterate that the AAP has never questioned the Indian Army. But misuse of the army's accomplishments and army's might for personal and political gains is not right," he said."Parrikar says that credit also goes to the (political) leadership apart from the army. I would remind him that huge posters of the Prime Minister in Uttar Pradesh and Goa (which go to assembly polls next year) have no mention of the Indian Army," Pandey added.He said that by making such statements, the Defence Minister is belittling the long and proud legacy of the Army.