The BJP on Thursday said the Congress’ claim of carrying out surgical strikes during its 10-year tenure under former prime minister Manmohan Singh was “fraudulent and farcical”, alleging that the grand old party was “guilty” of not allowing the punitive action against terrorists.

The Congress on Thursday claimed that six surgical strikes were carried out during the 10-year tenure of the party-led UPA government at the Centre.

“It is a farcical and fraudulent claim. We have the greatest of respect for our armed forces. Our forces were capable of carrying out surgical strikes across the LoC, inside Pakistan, but they were not allowed to do so when the UPA was in power,” BJP national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.

Addressing a press conference at the party office here, he alleged that the Congress was guilty of not allowing the armed forces to take action against terrorists.

Referring to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Rao said, “… the then Air Chief Marshal had asked then prime minister Manmohan Singh to give permission for conducting an airstrike across the LoC or inside Pakistan and it was denied. The Congress is guilty of not allowing punitive attacks against terror.”

Rao also took a dig at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s statement that the Congress candidates will cut into the votes of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominees in Uttar Pradesh, saying she declared that her party was a “non-entity” in Uttar Pradesh and that it was “in the field only to pave the way for the SP-BSP alliance”.

He added that after this public disclosure by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is the Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, there is complete bewilderment in the grand alliance and her remarks have only made it “formal and public that all these parties are interested only in a weak government and they somehow want to derail India’s development”.

Alleging that the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress were “partners in corruption” during the tenure of the UPA, Rao said, “The people of Uttar Pradesh have seen through their electoral antics and will give a befitting electoral verdict by ensuring a massive majority for the BJP.”