Politicking is at its peak a week after the dastardly attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.
The Congress, earlier on Thursday, 21 February, trained guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of continuing shooting for a “publicity and propaganda” documentary at Jim Corbett.
What followed was a news report of the prime minister being “miffed” at National Security Advisor Ajit Doval for “late info” on the terror attack. TV news channel NewsX, at 5:38 pm, attributing to sources, flashed that Doval had failed to inform the prime minister of the attack immediately.
The news flash – the screenshots of which were shared by multiple people on Twitter – has since then “mysteriously disappeared” from the channel’s social media handle and its website.
Congress, BJP Trade Barbs Over PM Modi’s ‘Whereabouts’
In a stinging attack, the Congress cited media reports to allege that Modi continued shooting for a film in the Corbett National Park on 14 February for his own “self propagation”, and stayed put till the evening despite the Pulwama terror attack in the afternoon that day.
Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, addressing a press conference, also claimed that the prime minister continued to "have tea, samosas, at seven o'clock in a PWD guest house when every single Indian household didn't have food".
Surjewala alleged that “in his hunger for power, the prime minister has forgotten ‘raj dharma’ (duty of governance).”
Citing reports in some Hindi dailies, Surjewala gave a timeline of events saying the terror attack happened at 3:10 pm on 14 February with the Congress reacting to it at 5:15 pm.
The Congress spokesperson alleged that the prime minister continued to "enjoy boat rides" with the camera crew and later ensured that there was slogan shouting by BJP people in his favour.
On one hand the country was picking up the “pieces of our martyrs”, and on the other hand the prime minister was involved in his “propaganda and publicity”, Surjewala said.
In response, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who addressed a press conference a couple of hours after Surjewala, outrightly denied that Modi was out for a shoot.
He said the prime minister was in Ramnagar forest for an “official programme related to tiger conservation” on the day of the attack.
“But the weather was so bad that he held the meeting from there, and later drove far away to the airport,” he said.