Mamata Banerjee hits out at Modi govt on Pulwama terror attack
Kolkata, Feb 25: Accusing the Modi government of indulging in "politics over dead bodies of jawans" after the Pulwama terror attack, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday alleged the Centre had intelligence inputs that such an attack can take place but did not act upon them.
Banerjee claimed the BJP-led Union government wants to create a "war hysteria" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to draw political mileage. Rejecting the allegations, the BJP said counter-accused her of trying to score "political brownie points" with her statements.
Addressing the Trinamool Congress's (TMC) extended core committee meeting here, Banerjee alleged that in the last over four-and-a-half years, the BJP, along with forces like the VHP and the RSS, has tried to divide the country on religious lines by injecting the "poison of hatred and communalism among the masses". She vowed to oust the "dictatorial Narendra Modi government" from power in the upcoming general election.
The TMC supremo, who had organised a conclave of over two dozen anti-BJP parties at the iconic Brigade Ground here on January 19, is all set to attend a crucial meeting of the opposition parties in Delhi later this week. She also claimed that the TMC will win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said, "What were you doing Modi babu when the Pulwama attack took place? You had prior information about it. The central government was aware that such an attack can take place, there were intelligence inputs." "Then why didn't the government take action to protect our jawans.
The government allowed them to die so that they can do politics over the dead bodies of jawans in the elections," the chief minister said. "Why did they not sanitise the road taken by the CRPF jawans? Why were the jawans not airlifted that day? Why were the troopers left to die? Is it because you wanted to politicise the matter before the elections?," she asked. "The blood of our jawans should not be politicised in this way. They want to create a war hysteria ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. They want to create an atmosphere of war and gain politically," she said condemning the attacks.
On February 14, 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir after a Jaish-e-Mohammed militant rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into their bus in Pulwama district. Reacting to Banerjee's comments, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh criticised her and said she is making baseless allegations about Pulwama terror attack with an intent to politicise the issue.
"Is this is the first time that such a terror attack has taken place in Kashmir?She should stop making such allegations just for scoring political brownie points," he said. Ghosh also asked Banerjee to keep aside her prime ministerial ambitions and stop dreaming about ousting Modi. "TMC is fast losing ground in Bengal and she is dreaming about ousting Modi. She should be rest assured about her defeat in Bengal in the Lok Sabha polls," Ghosh said. Criticising those taking out bike rallies with national flags in the middle of the night over the Pulwama attack and beating up people in the name of nationalism, Banerjee said action will be taken against such elements as only "criminals and dacoits" take out their bikes at midnight. "The VHP, RSS and the BJP are such forces which have not only tried to divide the country on religious lines but has also infused the poison of communalism and hatred among the masses. We have to remove this dictator Narendra Modi and Amit Shah from power to save the country," she said. The central government is functioning in a peculiar way and Union ministers are not aware of important decisions, Banerjee claimed, adding that the government is being run by "two brothers", who have the blood of innocents on their hands. "Those who claim to be leader on their own are not leaders. A person who is respected, loved and appointed as leader by others is the real leader," Banerjee said, taking a veiled dig at Modi and Shah for frequently alleging that the opposition alliance doesn't have a leader. She also accused the Modi government of pursuing vendetta politics. Being seen as a key force in bringing together opposition parties, she supported a collective leadership of the anti-BJP alliance.
Taking a dig at Shah's claim that the BJP will win more than 23 seats in Bengal, Banerjee alleged that the saffron party will try to tamper with the EVMs to reach its target and hence, is making such claims. "We have to be cautious and thwart those efforts",she added. Banerjee alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to buy her party leaders by offering them cash and have been contacting her party leaders in this regard. "There are people coming via train to Bengal and bringing loads of cash into the state. This is for spending it on voters. I have all the information", she claimed.
She asked party workers to not pay heed to the proposed alliance between the CPI(M) and the Congress in the state, and said both parties may even have a covert understanding with the BJP to fight the TMC in some places. The CPI(M) and Congress had forged an alliance in the 2016 assembly polls against the TMC in Bengal. But,it failed to have an impact as the TMC won 211 seats in the state.