New Delhi: Amid a bitter war of words between the government and the Congress-led Opposition over the number of terrorists killed in the IAF airstrike in Pakistan’s Balakot, Union Minister V K Singh today took a dig at the anti-Modi brigade with a ‘mosquitoes’ tweet.
Taking to Twitter, VK Singh said in a tweet, “Last night at 3.30 am there were too many mosquitoes, so I used HIT (mosquito repellant). Now should I start counting how many mosquitoes I killed or should I go back to sleep?” Interestingly, the former Army chief tweeted this in Hindi.
Through his tweet, Singh is understood to have made a veiled reference to the ‘pre-dawn, pre-emptive and non-military’ Indian Air Force (IAF) airstrike on February 26 targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
A bitter war of words has erupted with several opposition leaders demanding proof of the IAF airstrikes in Balakot and pressing the government to reveal exactly how many terrorists were killed in the operation.
With the Opposition questioning the valour of the armed forces and the efficacy of the IAF airstrikes, the Narendra Modi government has gone all out in ridiculing the opposition, claiming that their action was lowering the morale of the security forces.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who refused to confirm a casualty figure, said on Tuesday that it was a non-,ilitary strike not aiming at civilians.
“The Foreign Secretary gave the statement; that is the figure,” Sitharaman said, referring to the briefing by Vijay Gokhale the day the air strikes took place.
The Foreign Secretary had not given any figure either. During his briefing, he had said a ‘very large number’ of Jaish terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis being trained for suicide attacks in India were eliminated.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, however, came closest to validating the unofficial figure of ‘300’ talked about on the day of the strike.
Attacking Congress, Rajnath said the opposition party was not willing to accept an assessment by the National Technical Research Organisation that said some 300 mobile phones were active at the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp before the Air Force’s Mirage 2000 fighter jets bombed it.
While the government has not given any figure, BJP president Amit Shah claimed at a political rally that over 250 terrorists were killed, provoking opposition digs. VK Singh had said it was not a confirmed figure but an estimate.