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‘Boastful,jingoistic': Cong, NC take on ministers over remarks on Myanmar operation

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New Delhi: Opposition parties led by Congress today took on Union Ministers for their “boastful and jingoistic” comments on Army’s surgical strike in Myanmar and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to counsel them to avoid “chest thumping”.

The parties also felt that the kind of statements made by the Union Ministers since the pre-dawn strike on Tuesday are not going to help the operations of India’s special forces.

“There should be sobriety and maturity. Jingoism and boastful claims are not going to help the operations of India’s special forces.

“I would request the Prime Minister to give them mentoring and counselling…. PM should restrain his ministers so there is no repeat,” Congress spokesman Anand Sharma, who has been a senior Minister during the UPA rule, said.

Sharma said the Prime Minister should have drawn lessons from Nepal experience. “During the quake relief operations, there was a publicity and propaganda overkill which caused us embarrassment,” he said.

National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah termed the statements by the ministers as an “amazing self goal”, saying Myanmar’s denial that the operation took place on its soil, had proved counter-productive.

“What an amazing self goal!!! Next time you have a good covert Op, let the Op speak for itself and leave the chest thumping for the campaigns,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

“All the chest thumping did is force Myanmar to deny the Op ever took place on their soil thus proving totally counterproductive #selfgoal,” he added.

Sharma’s attack came on a day Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar attributed the Myanmar operation to “change in mindset”. Taking a dig at Pakistan, the Minister said those who “fear India’s new posture” have already started reacting.

The Defence Minister has “foot-in-mouth” disease and is in the “habit” of making “irresponsible” statements, said Sharma who also faulted the “56-inch-chest” remark by Minister of State for I and B Rajyavardhan Rathore.

“It’s undoubtedly a message to all nations that harbours any terror intentions, be it the west or the specific country where we went in right now,” Rathore said on Tuesday night. He also chose #56inchRocks as hashtag in his tweets to send out a message that the action could become possible because of the prime minister’s courage.

In the run up to general elections last year, Modi, challenging Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, had used a 56 inch reference and said, “You don’t have the guts to turn UP into Gujarat. It takes a 56-inch chest.”

Another Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said India’s response is a “lesson” to all militant groups that it will not hesitate in going beyond its borders to eliminate terrorists.

Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha took to Twitter to attack the government on the issue.

“Manohar Parrikar and Mr Rathore’s 56″ bravado and chest-thumping has been tactless, amateurish and tacky. An incompetent government at core.”

“Modi Sarkar in it’s political desperation to glorify PM’s image is compromising excellent credentials of #INDIANARMYROCKS, the real heroes”, he tweeted.

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