New Delhi: A day after overseas chief of Congress Sam Pitroda referred to the Pulwama terror strike as ‘attacks happen all the time’ and criticised the Modi government for its retaliatory action, BJP’s two senior women ministers took the fight head-on.

Renewing her attack on the erstwhile UPA government over the discourse developing on India’s ‘pre-emptive strikes’ post the Pulwama attack, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sneered, “if only a similar action was taken after 2008 Mumbai attacks…”

Addressing a public rally in Hyderabad on Sunday, Sitharaman in a strong worded jibe said, “ If only a similar deterrent action was taken after Mumbai attack… & I have enough reasons to believe that armed forces did tell the govt at that time, ‘if you want us to do something, we are ready but we want you to take the call.”

This is not the first time Sitharaman has taken a dig at Congress government’s inability to respond to terror. Only last week, the defence minister at a Kolkata rally said, “After Mumbai attack, the government then did not have the guts to give a befitting reply to Pakistan. They sat right, gave statements, said they would talk, make them understand. OK, do all that. We will also do. But so long, we had been suffering.”

On the other hand, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in a separate public event hailed the Modi government’s new no-tolerance policy against terrorism and its diplomatic win in the Pulwama attack aftermath.

Speaking on the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) airspace violation in view of Indian Air Force’s strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps in Balakot, Swaraj explained, “The next day (after the air strike) Pakistan sent its planes to conduct a retaliatory strike. We shot down one of their planes, they shot down one of ours and captured one of our pilots. It was due to India’s strong diplomatic ties that our pilot returned in two days.”

 

BJP national president Amit Shah on Saturday also condemned Pitroda’s comments and demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi. I demand from the Congress President that he must apologise to the families of the slain troopers,” Shah told the media in New Delhi.

Shah questioned whether the Congress considered heinous attacks as a normal phenomenon.

“At a time when the country is growing rapidly towards the general election and the issue of national security is important for the voters, the statement of Sam Pitroda is very unfortunate,” he said.