Video Producer: Hera Khan
Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam
A a week after the terror attack in Pulwama that claimed the lives of at least 40 CRPF jawans, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress traded barbs over the attack.
In a scathing statement on Thursday, 21 February, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala criticised PM Modi for reportedly shooting a “propaganda and publicity” documentary during and right after the attack, and slammed Amit Shah for 'politicising' terrorism.
The BJP hit back, saying the Opposition party has shown its “true colours” after maintaining the “facade” of standing with the government and security forces following the terror strike.
Congress’ Allegations Against Modi Govt
The Congress said it had observed seven days of mourning for India’s loss and that it is now raising questions against PM Modi for shooting a film in Jim Corbett on the day of the Pulwama terror attack.
“This film shooting went on till 6:30 pm that day. He had tea and snacks at 6:45 pm. It is horrific that till four hours after such an attack, Modi was busy with his own branding, photoshoot and snacks,” Congress alleged.
The grand old party levelled a list of allegations against the government:
- “At 3:10 (pm), when the terror attack happened in Pulwama, PM Modi was busy shooting for a film in Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, Nainital, while the country was grieving. Are you a Hollywood star or Bollywood star or prime minister of a country? He should have been in the Cabinet, investigating the attack on our soldiers,” Surjewala said.
- The Congress leader also alleged: “On 16 February, when the caskets of our bravehearts were at the Delhi airport, PM Modi arrived an hour late because he was busy in politics in Jhansi. He first went to his residence and then he left for the airport. Will BJP make the families of martyrs wait for an hour?”
- The party lashed out at BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj and Tourism Minister KJ Alphons for their “shameless behaviour” during the last rites ceremony of CRPF army men who were martyred in the Pulwama terror attack. “This is a funeral ceremony of a martyr, not a place for you to smile and ask for votes. These are the Cabinet members of BJP government. They depict the policy of BJP government,” Surjewala said.
- The party accused BJP President Amit Shah of making a provocative remark against the Congress, indulging in cheap politics and politicising the sacrifices of Indian soldiers.
- Moreover, Congress attacked PM Modi for leaving on a two-day visit to Seoul on Thursday, 21 February, while the nation was still grieving the loss of 40 CRPF personnel.
- “Unfortunately, for PM Modi, the greed for power is bigger than India’s Army and the sacrifices of the country’s brave Army,” the Congress spokesperson said.
- Raking up the conduct of Modi during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Congress said that while the country’s Army men were fighting terrorists, the then Gujarat chief minister was busy addressing a press conference praising the government. “The government was appealing for votes when the soldiers of India were fighting the terrorists on 28 November,” Surjewala said.
Congress’ Stance Similar to That of Pak: BJP
Soon after, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a press conference, said the Opposition party has shown its "true colours" after maintaining the "facade" of standing with the government and security forces following the terror strike.
Prasad accused the Congress of seeking to weaken the morale of the armed forces at a time when the whole world is “firmly standing” with India.
Prasad also targeted the Congress for its "shameful" attack on PM Modi and said he was in Uttarakhand on the day of Pulwama attack as part of an official programme related to tiger conservation.
"Was the Congress aware of the Pulwama attack? We were not aware," the BJP leader said in a jibe at the Opposition party.
The Congress attack on the Modi government would have pleased Pakistan, he alleged, adding that styles of what Imran Khan and the opposition party have said may be different but their contents bore striking resemblance.