New Delhi [India], Mar 22 (ANI): Latching on to Sam Pitroda's controversial comments on Balakot air strike, the BJP on Friday said the "alter-ego and chief strategist" of Rahul Gandhi had exposed the Congress to "ridicule" as he "does not believe the armed forces".
"It is BJP's charge that since morning Sam Pitroda has exposed the Congress to ridicule. He is not an ordinary person. He is the advisor, alter-ego and chief strategist of Rahul Gandhi. He (Pitroda) was very close to his (Rahul's) late father Rajiv Gandhi," BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
He was commenting on the remarks by Pitroda, a close confidant of Rahul and chairman of Overseas Indian National Congress, who questioned the death toll in the air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26 in retaliation to the Pulwama terror attack of February 14.
"He (Pitroda) does not believe the armed forces," Prasad said.
In an interview to ANI earlier on Friday, Pitroda said, "If they (IAF) killed 300 (terrorists), it's ok. All I am saying is can you give me more facts and prove it?"Pitroda, while responding to questions on the Indian action in Balakot, also added that international news outlets had an alternate view of the impact of the air strike and that the people of India deserved to know the facts of the Air Force operation.
"I would like to know a little more because I read reports in the New York Times and other newspapers. Did we really attack? We really killed 300 people? I don't know that. As a citizen, I am entitled to know and if I ask it is my duty to ask, that doesn't mean I'm not a nationalist, That doesn't mean I am on this side or that side. We need to know the facts. If you say 300 people were killed, I need to know that. We all need to know that, people of India need to know that and then comes global media which says nobody was killed. I look bad as an Indian citizen," said Pitroda.
The Indian Overseas Congress chief said he didn't know much about the Pulwama terror attack.
Reacting to the remarks, Prime Minister Modi hit out at Pitroda, tweeting that Pitroda "kick-started the Pakistan National Day celebrations on behalf of the Congress".
Later, Pitroda said that he was "baffled" at the response of the Prime Minister who slammed him for questioning the death toll in the Balakot air strike in Pakistan.
"I just said as a citizen I'm entitled to know what happened. I don't understand what is the controversy here, I am baffled at the response. Shows how people react to trivial matters in India," he told ANI.
BJP president Amit Shah and several other party leaders have also lambasted Pitroda for his comments in the interview. (ANI)