In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi indirectly claimed that Modi was responsible for leaking information regarding the Balakot airstrikes to Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
Rahul Gandhi’s comments come after Goswami’s “leaked WhatsApp chats” indicated that he knew about the Indian military’s intention to carry out airstrikes in Balakot, 2-3 days before the operation was conducted.
Earlier, the Congress MP also lashed out at Modi and claimed that the PM was not doing anything to tackle Chinese intrusion in Arunachal Pradesh. Read here
Addressing a roadshow in Tamil Nadu’s Karur district, he said only five people including the PM and the Defence Minister would have had prior information of the planned strikes.
"Some days back it came out that a journalist knew about the air strikes in Balakot. Three days before the (Indian) air force bombed Pakistan, an Indian journalist was told it was going to happen," he said. This meant the lives of our IAF pilots were put at 'risk,' he added.
"Now, five people in this world knew about Balakot (air strikes). Prime Minister of India, the Defence minister of India, the National Security Adviser and the Chief of the Air Force and the Home minister."
"Nobody else in the world knew about Balakot before it happened. Now I want to understand why an enquiry has not been initiated on who told this journalist about Balakot before it happened. The reason is that one of these five people told this man. One of these five people betrayed our Air Force," he charged.
"If the Prime Minister did not do it then why is he not ordering an enquiry. Think about it. The only reason that the Prime Minister has not ordered an enquiry is because he is the person through which that message has gone to this journalist," Rahul Gandhi claimed.
Purported chats between Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) head Partho Dasgupta, which mentioned that the former was privy to the 2019 air strike, by the IAF on the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot had surfaced recently.
The IAF had carried out the airstrike deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019 in the wake of the killing of 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district.
Rahul Gandhi also hit out at Modi once again over the Sino-India face-off, saying "today the Chinese army is sitting inside Indian territory."
"The Prime Minister has said he has a 56-inch chest. Today, the Chinese army is sitting inside Indian territory. Thousands of kms of Indian land has been taken by the Chinese," he alleged.
Rahul also claimed that Modi cannot say the word China as he "does not have the courage to say" so.
"You look at his speeches for the last 3-4 months, he does not say the word China. When the Chinese entered our territory he lied and said nobody came. After some days the Army and Defence minister said the Chinese army had come into Indian territory," Rahul added.
"And the only reason the Chinese have the guts to come into this country is because Narendra Modi has destroyed the economy and weakened (the country) by dividing it," he further charged.
(With PTI inputs)