Union defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserved a major credit for the Indian Army’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control.

“I will only share the credit, major share goes to PM. This should settle the nerves of many people,” Parrikar said at the Material Engineering Technology (MET) 2016 conference in Mumbai. “Because it was done by the army, not any political party. So all Indians, including doubting Thomases, can share the credit,” he was quoted saying by ANI.

Parrikar’s comments evoked a strong controversy with the Congress and Samajwadi Party slamming the defence minister for politicising the surgical strike. “The statement clearly that Parrikar does not deserve to be the defence minister,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told Times Now.

Later, Parrikar defended his comment, claiming that the army and people of the country shared credit.

“I only said that the credit belongs to the Indian Army and the 127 crore janata of this country,” Times Now quoted him as saying.

Parrikar’s latest comment has come in wake of opposition parties accusing the NDA government of politicising the counter-terror operation.

The major attack came from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of exploiting the sacrifices of soldiers laying down their lives in the line of duty.

“Jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strike kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai. {You (Modi) are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very
wrong,” PTI quoted him as saying.