New Delhi: Congress’s Indian overseas chief Sam Pitroda on Friday raised quite a few eyebrows after he said that Pulwama-like attacks happen all the time. This controversial remark irked the government at the Centre with Prime Minister Narendra Modi replying that Opposition demeans India’s armed forces and humiliate families of martyrs time and again. Questioning the death toll in the Balakot airstrike by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in response to the Pulwama terror attack, Pitroda said it was wrong to attack Pakistan.

The Congress’s Indian overseas chief said, “If you say 300 people were killed, we all need to know that, all Indians need to know that. Then comes the global media which says nobody was killed, I look bad as an Indian citizen.” Citing the 26/11 attack, Pitroda said it was naive to assume that because some people came and attacked, every citizen of that nation is to be blamed. He further added, “8 people (26/11 terrorists) come and do something, you don’t jump on entire nation (Pakistan). I don’t believe in that way.”

Strengthening his attack on PM Modi, Pitroda also called the arrest of diamantaire Nirav Modi ‘an event’. “All I say is, event-based politics doesn’t make sense. Nirav Modi is an event. I am talking more about the holistic approach, which is embedded inclusion, which is embedded in what kind of a nation we want to build,” said the Congress’s Indian overseas chief.

He continued his barb against the PM reacting to the statement that Modi symbolised a strong government and said that it is something the people of the country have to decide. “India will have to decide, strong is not necessarily a good thing for democracy. Hitler was also very strong, all dictators are strong, the Chinese leader is very strong, is that what India wants?” said Pitroda.

After receiving backlash from PM Modi and being criticised by several BJP leaders for trivialising the Pulwama attack, Pitroda issued a clarification saying that he raised all the questions in a personal capacity and as a citizen of India. Pitroda said, “I just said as a citizen I am entitled to know what happened. I am not talking on behalf of the party, just speaking as a citizen. I have the right to know, what is wrong in it?”

Meanwhile, PM Modi launched a sharp attack on Congress and said that the Opposition had shamed the Indian armed forces.