Oppn hits out at Modi over Pulwama, Saudi prince visit

Last Updated 20 February 2019, 16:22 IST

After a three-day moratorium, the Congress and other Opposition parties went out all guns blazing at the Modi government over the Pulwama attack, questioning the lapses in handling intelligence inputs that could have prevented the terror strike.

The Congress also slammed the Modi government for breaking protocol and according a personal welcome to visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, despite his refusal to endorse the demand for a global ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma accused Prime Minister Modi of showing keenness to emulate Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in breaking protocol and receiving the Saudi prince at the airport without any justification.

“The fact that the crown prince has visited Pakistan after the dastardly attack and refused to endorse the ban on Masood Azhar and the declaration of Jaish-e-Mohammed as a terrorist organisation seems to have been lost on the prime minister,” Sharma said.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury accused Modi of politicising the Pulwama terror attack.

“When the entire country in united in the aftermath of the Pulwama attacks, the BJP is busy politicising it,” Yechury said referring to BJP president Amit Shah's statement that the BJP government at the Centre will teach the terrorists a lesson.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu accused the BJP of belittling the nation through their petty actions of gaining political mileage through the Pulwama terror attack.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the first off the block to question whether the BJP wanted to lead the country to a war ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“When elections are knocking on the door you are trying to stage a war... A shadow war. Amit Shah and Narendra Modi are delivering political speeches. Even after such a big mishap you do not resign taking responsibility and are instead delivering political speeches,” Mamata had said in Kolkata on Monday.

The Congress claimed that Modi's “hugplomacy”— receiving a visiting dignitary with a bear hug— was against national interests and wondered whether it was the prime minister's way of remembering the martyrs of Pulwama.

“Breaking protocol, grand welcome to those who pledged $20 Billion to Pakistan and praised Pakistan’s anti-terror efforts,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in New Delhi.

Surjewala demanded to know whether Modi would ask the Saudi prince to undo his joint statement with Imran Khan that spoke about avoiding politicisation of the UN listing regime.

(Published 20 February 2019, 09:01 IST)

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