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'How did 300kg RDX reach there?'

Congress questions Narendra Modi about outcome of Pulwama probe

The Prime Minister is obsessed with himself; he created a noise about his own security when he was stranded on a flyover while going to Ferozepur public meeting
Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi.
File photo

Sanjay K. Jha   |   New Delhi   |   Published 15.02.22, 03:43 AM

The Congress on Monday raised the Pulwama terror attack in its Punjab election campaign, questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the outcome of the investigations into the massacre of 40 CRPF jawans on a Jammu highway.

Monday was the third anniversary of the February 14, 2019 attack that many believe facilitated the BJP’s campaign for the April-May general election that year, allowing it to highlight national security and the Centre’s retaliatory actions against Pakistan.


Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar raised the issue in the presence of Rahul Gandhi at successive rallies in Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur, flagging the security lapse behind the massacre and suggesting Modi was concerned more about his own security than soldiers’.

“Modi is obsessed with himself; he created a noise about his own security when he was stranded on a flyover while going to the Ferozepur public meeting (in Punjab last month),”Jakhar said.

“He told an official to thank the chief minister as he had returned alive. Who should the families of the CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama thank?”

Jakhar added: “Home minister Amit Shah came to Punjab yesterday (Sunday) and sought the resignation of chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi because he couldn’t ensure foolproof security for the Prime Minister. Who should resign for the huge security lapse in Kashmir when 40 of our soldiers were killed?

“How did 300kg RDX reach there? What happened to the investigation? What is the progress in the commission set up by the Government of India? Should the government that cannot protect our soldiers continue?”

Both Rahul and Modi paid homage to the slain jawans at their public rallies in Punjab on the anniversary of the attack. Jakhar was persistent, underlining the security lapses behind another terror attack on the forces, in Pathankot in 2016.

“Pathankot is the forward airbase of the air force. Who brought Pakistan’s ISI here? Modiji should look within instead of using security issues for politics,” he said.

“He said he was not allowed to visit a temple today and commented on the situation in Punjab. The model code of conduct is operational here and the airspace was closed, preventing even chief minister Channi from joining Rahul Gandhi’s meeting.”

Jakhar questioned the Prime Minister’s claim of a deep emotional bonding with Punjab, which votes on February 20. “What prevented him from paying homage to the 700 farmers who died during the protest against the (now-repealed) farm laws?” he said.

Jakhar said: “He accepted that the drug problem was very serious in Punjab (but) took no steps because the (then ruling) Akali Dali was the BJP’s partner. Modi never talks about jobs or the prices of petrol and diesel. He is concerned only about himself.”

Rahul spoke of the government’s refusal to pay compensation to the families of the farmers who died during the yearlong agitation, but avoided mentioning Pulwama.

He stressed Channi’s commitment to public welfare. He warned the people of Punjab against attempts to divide them on religious lines, insisting that peace and social harmony were key to progress in the border state.

Rahul, who hasn’t campaigned in Uttar Pradesh so far, has focused on Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa where the Congress fancies its chances.

The most encouraging signal came from Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who publicly promised to stand by Rahul and supported his decision of picking Channi as the candidate for chief minister.

“Enough of sulking and grudging. It’s time to create a new Punjab, time to finish off the mafia, time to drive out the corrupt jeeja-sala (Akali Dal leaders Sukhbir Badal and Vikram Majithia) and pretender Kejriwal,” Sidhu said.

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