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Many surgical strikes conducted under UPA: Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi, May 02: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that multiple surgical strikes were carried out by the UPA regime but the government never publicised them or use them to garner votes.

"In the past 70 years, a government in power never had to hide behind the valour of our armed forces," Singh told Hindustan Times, adding that this was being done to divert attention from the 'failures of Modi government'.

Many surgical strikes conducted under UPA: Manmohan Singh

The comment comes at a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s election narrative revolving around national security.

Surgical strikes decision was a 'big risk', Was concerned about our soldiers: PM Modi

Manmohan Singh said that the politicisation of armed forces was an attempt to divert attention from "unpardonable failures" of the Modi government -- economy, jobs and agrarian distress. He said that the Modi government was "riding on an empty rhetoric" of national security.

Senior Congress leaders, including party president Rahul Gandhi, have talked about surgical strikes having been carried out by India's armed forces under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

However, Singh's comments assume significance as it is the first time the former prime minister has said it himself.

It is to be noted that the BJP-led government had conducted its first surgical strike on September 29 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to avenge the terror attack at an Army camp in Uri.

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