"The Indian Army works for the nation, safeguards our nation and the person who leads the army, its chief.no politician should not comment about him".
The reaction comes immediately after the BJP severely criticised Rahul for not condemning Dikshit's remarks. Defending Army Major Leetul Gogoi's act of using a Kashmiri as a "human shield" against stone pelters in the Valley, General Rawat had said, "I wish these people, instead of throwing stones, were firing weapons at us". "No less than Congress president Sonia Gandhi should come out and apologise", said Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Under severe fire, Dikshit retracted his remarks and apologised through a tweet.
The Commerce Minister's remarks came a day after Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit stoked a controversy with his description of Army chief General Rawat as a "sadak ka gunda", leading to outrage. Speaking at an event in Bengaluru, Rahul said, "Ye bilkul galat hai, Army Chief ke baare mein rajnetik logon ko comment karne ki zaroorat nahi hai (This is absolutely wrong, there is no need for political leaders to comment about the Army chief)". According to the agency, Afzal said that he didn't know why Sandeep Dikshit used such language.
The Congress party has sought to distance itself from Dikshit's comment.
She said: "It shocks me and my party".
"I wonder if this is a strategy of the Congress party, to undermine the Indian Army, weaken our institutions, which is what they do in Parliament also, you see them with sometime such sheer impunity".
Sitharaman also referred to Rahul's 'khoon ki dalali' barb at Prime Minister Narendra Nodi past year. "The Congress should clarify its stand on remarks against the Indian Army".
Referring to the 2008 Batla House encounter in which a Delhi police officer was also killed, she said Congress leaders had then visited the houses of killed terrorists.