On Sunday, the Congress accused the government of compromising national security, based on leaked WhatsApp chats of Republic’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami with former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) Partho Dasgupta, discussing the government’s response after the Pulwama attack and saying “something big will happen…bigger than a normal strike” on February 23, three days ahead of the Balakot airstrikes. “On Pakistan the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated. Exact words used,” Goswami purportedly said.
To which Dasgupta replied: “Good… He will sweep the polls then.” The Balakot strikes happened on February 26.
Comments by senior political leaders from that time suggest that the government had been vocal about a “befitting response” from India.
On February 15, just a day after the Pulwama attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at two separate events — the flag-off ceremony of Vande Bharat Express and at a public meeting in Jhansi – that the security forces have been given “full freedom” to choose a “time and place” for the “future course of action”. He promised a “muhtod jawab” (befitting reply) for the attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel.
Underlining that the nation’s “blood is boiling”, Modi said the “terror outfits and their masters” have made “a big mistake” and “will have to pay a very heavy price” for their actions.
On February 16, Modi,…