Congress, BJP trade Pulwama punches

Last Updated 22 February 2019, 20:31 IST

Keeping up the attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress on Friday demanded to know whether he was aware of the terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also hit out at Modi by describing him as a “Prime Time Minister” and posted photographs of the prime minister's boat ride at the Corbett National Park on the day of the attack.

“We want to ask the prime minister what he was doing between 3.10 pm and 5.10. At 4.40 pm, he addressed a rally through mobile phone. To the best of our knowledge, not even once did he mention the attack,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari at a press conference, where he played a DD News video as evidence of the prime minister's election speech at Rudrapur in Uttarakhand.

“Either the prime minister was completely oblivious, or the prime minister was insensitive. Either the prime minister did not know for two hours that a terror attack had taken place or the prime minister knew and was completely nonchalant about it,” Tewari said.

The BJP hit back at Rahul, accusing him of spreading “fake news”. The party claimed that the photographs of the prime minister at Corbett National Park were taken in the morning of February 14.

“Stop sharing photos from that morning to shamelessly mislead the nation. Maybe you knew in advance of the attack but people of India got to know in the evening. Try a better stunt next time, where the sacrifice of soldiers isn’t involved,” the BJP said on Twitter.

Tewari claimed that had the prime minister known about the Pulwama attack, he would have paid homage to the victims of the terror strike while addressing a rally in Rudrapur two hours later.

“Was he unaware of the attack between 3.10 pm and 5.30 pm? He was either not informed about it by his office or he was incommunicado. That speaks a lot about the state of communication in the higher echelons of Indian state,” Tewari, a former Information & Broadcasting Minister said.

Tewari also dismissed reports of Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari threatening to stop the flow of India's share of water under the Indus Water Treaty to Pakistan.

“You cannot always get away by substituting rhetoric for action. Somebody needs to ask the minister do dams get built in a day,” the Congress spokesperson said, dismissing Gadkari's remarks as an attempt to “package high-octane jingoism to get over their substantive national security failure”.

(Published 22 February 2019, 19:32 IST)

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