One Year of Pulwama: BJP Slams Rahul As He Quizzes Govt on Twitter
On the first anniversary of the Pulwama attack, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted in remembrance of the 40 CRPF martyrs, and raised some questions about the motives behind the attack.
In the tweet on Friday, 14 February, Gandhi asked who benefited from the attack, about the outcome of the inquiry and the lack of accountability among the BJP ranks.
Friday marks one year since the day 40 CRPF officials were killed in an attack in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. Various public personalities on Twitter, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, tweeted in commemoration of the day, praising the sacrifice of the soldiers.
BJP Karnataka Slams Gandhi’s Tweets
The official BJP Karnataka account, which has often posted incendiary comments and was even blocked by Twitter previously, responded to Gandhi’s tweets in two separate posts.
Attacking the Gandhi ‘dynasty,’ the account accused Gandhi of doing ‘vulture politics.’ In a separate, follow-up tweet, it accused the Congress of denying permission to the Indian Air Force to attack “Pakistani Terror Camps” after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
The BJP Karnataka Twitter account was banned on 11 February, and then restored a day later. The party alleged that the reason for the ban was that they were "speaking the truth about liberals."
Other BJP Members, Twitter Users Respond
Many other Twitter users, including members of the BJP, responded to Gandhi’s tweet, calling it ‘insensitive,’ and said that he ignored the sacrifice of the martyrs, instead choosing to further party politics.
The comments are an "insult to martyrs who sacrificed their life for the country," said the BJP, as reported by PTI, adding that “such comments help Pakistan counter India on international platforms.”
Amit Malviya, the national in-charge of the BJP IT cell, refocused attention on Pakistan’s alleged role in the attack, asking Gandhi if he was ‘disappointed’ with India’s actions.
BJP spokespersons, Sambit Patra and GVL Narasimha Rao, also questioned Gandhi’s loyalties, with Patra calling the Gandhi family ‘corrupt’. Rao called him a ‘known sympathiser of LeT & Jaish-e-Mohammad,’ and asked him why Pakistan was not being questioned.
Support for Rahul, More Questions Raised by Others
Amid the backlash, some politicians and users supported the stance taken by Gandhi, while others raised even more questions of their own.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury pointed out that the inquiry report of the investigation into the attack had not been made public. He also pointed out the politicisation of the attack, writing that ‘Modi and the BJP directly asked for votes in the name of the martyrs of Pulwama,’ while nothing had been done for the families of the martyrs.
Following up to their leader’s tweets, the Congress account tweeted a list of seven questions about the attack. The questions probed issues like the lack of security measures, the sourcing of explosives and the lack of compensation provided to the families of martyrs.