File photo of Lt Gen. D.S. Hooda | Commons
File photo of Lt Gen. D.S. Hooda | Commons
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New Delhi: The army general who had overseen India’s surgical strikes on terror camps across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016 is set to head the Congress party’s task force on national security.

Lt Gen. Deependra Singh Hooda, who retired as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Army’s Northern Command, confirmed this development to ThePrint, saying: “Yes, I will be heading the task force to look into national security challenges and how we can respond to them.”

However, Hooda, who retired from the Indian Army after nearly 40 years of service in 2016, clarified that he hadn’t joined the Congress.

Party leaders said Congress president Rahul Gandhi had been in touch with Lt Gen. Hooda for “several days”.

Also read: Is Capt Amarinder Singh showing Congress the way on handling national security issues?

Significance of Hooda helping Congress

Lt Gen. Hooda had recently criticised the BJP in veiled terms, saying the surgical strikes were “overhyped” and “politicised”.

The Congress president has now asked him to prepare a vision document on national security and has left it to him to select the members of the task force.

This comes at a time when the Congress has been slamming the Narendra Modi government for the lapses that led to the Pulwama terror strike, in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The Congress accused the prime minister of continuing with a “photo shoot” at Jim Corbett National Park for several hours after the attack took place in Pulwama.

Hooda’s presence as head of its national security task force is likely to give the party a big leg-up in its attack on the NDA government on security issues in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.

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8 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Congress first said surgical strikes are bogus. Once it is proved it is a truth now they are got hold of general who said the strike is overhyped. What advise he will give which is not there in defence documentation till now? We know that it is only for publicity and to prove BJP is wrong, congress approached him. The general should not accept the offer of congress else he will be becoming a pawn in congress hands

  2. A person who has run down his own work now turns adviser! But then, what else can you expect from Shri Rahul Gandhi. He is so desperate, that anyone who is remotely the enemy of his enemy is his best friend.

  3. This seems to be self goal by Congress by endorsing the views and creditability of Gen hooda on surgical strike which congress was reluctant to accept. These retired individuals are not equipped to formulate policies, but to execute it. This is a pure gimmick by congress to exploit retired general

  4. Great move by Rahul and the Congress. Due to his oversized ego, our current PM has been sorely unable to let professionals do their job. Result being well respected professionals like former RBI governor Dr. Rajan, Dr. Arvind Subrmanian, senior statisticians from NSO, ISRO Satellite center Director, IIT Delhi Director, and so on have not been allowed to contribute to the country. This is a huge loss for the country and shouldn`t be underestimated.

    It`s in this light that we need to look at Rahul`s initiative to setup a Task force under the leadership of Lt Gen Hooda. Get professionals with the right background, be comfortable hearing alternative opinions and come out with a cohesive strategy. Post that let the right set of people do their job. Very different from the childish strategy of a hug and a shawl today, and pellets tomorrow, or trying to take credit for everything from MARs mission to 1/4th finished highways to flyovers etc., or half baked schemes like de monitization.

  5. Lt. Gen Panag has been critical of politicisation of the armed forces. More officers should come out and champion armed forces being kept out of politics. Modi BJP have been trying to politicise and have fairly succeeded in doing so. The trend must be reversed

  6. This is a very welcome move by the Congress. Also praiseworthy is the fact that Gen. Hooda has criticised politicization of surgical strikes which the BJP has been doing to the limit of embarrassment. Only officers like him have helped our forces maintain a professional and non communal image.

  7. बहुत बडी और अच्छी Strategic positive fight head on to defeat (प्रचार मंत्री)PM moDi inside
    NoGods are there
    To save NDa in G.Elections…

  8. A thinking man’s general. One only hopes he will not contest an election. May General V K Singh be the last veteran to hold that distinction.


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