Srinagar: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi of doing politics with the blood of the 49 killed CRPF personnel in the Pulwama attack ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, and claimed that the Government of India had “prior information” regarding the February 14 attack, IANS reported.
While condoling the bereaved families, Banerjee questioned why nearly 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were not airlifted and instead allowed to travel in a convoy without “proper sanitisation and naka-checking” of the route.
“Modi-babu, where were you when the incident (Pulwama attack) took place? You knew from before that the incident would happen. You had prior information,” she said at the party’s extended core committee meeting.
“The central government had intelligence inputs about it. Then why were the personnel not airlifted that day? Why no naka-checking and sanitisation of the convoy route took place? Why were the troopers left to die? Is it because you wanted to politicise the matter before the elections? The blood of our personnel should not be politicised in this way,” she added, as per the report.
She further claimed that he has been pretending to be a “messenger of peace” while his party was secretly trying to create a war-like situation in the country and start a riot.
She claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might attempt to tamper with the EVM machines across the country, including in West Bengal during the Lok Sabha polls to manipulate votes in their favor, the report said.
The Chief Minister formed a three-member committee comprising of senior party leaders to train booth-level workers on how EVMs and VVPAT machines function.
“They (BJP) will try to tamper the EVMs. I have heard that they have contacted a private company to manipulate the EVMs in Bengal as well. We need to train our workers on how the EVMs and VVPATs work. During counting of votes after the polls, only depute those who are trained in these things,” she said, according to the report.
“I am forming a small committee in this regard. Party leaders Dinesh Trivedi, Sougata Roy and Partha Chatterjee will be in the committee who will train the district level leaders about the functions of EVMs and VVPATs. We will not let BJP tamper with votes here,” she added, the report stated.
Earlier on Sunday, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray called the 49 CRPF armed personnel killed in an attack on their convoy in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 as ‘political victims’ and claimed that the “truth” will come out if National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval was questioned, as per a report by PTI.
“If NSA Ajit Doval is investigated, then all the truth about the Pulwama terror attack will come out,” Thackeray said in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, as per the report.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that he stood by his words of immediately acting if India provides Pakistan with “actionable intelligence” regarding the February 14 attack.
Fresh escalations of tensions occurred between India and Pakistan following the February 14 attack which was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad militant outfit.
Modi blamed Pakistan for the Pulwama attack and said that the country has become ‘‘synonym for terrorism’.
Following the attack, Pakistan called back their High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood for ‘consultations’. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he had written a letter to the United Nations secretary general, asking him to play his role for the “de-escalation” of current tensions.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in response to Modi’s comments, said that they would retaliate if India would start a war.
The attack led to Kashmiris being harassed and abused across the country, prompting Modi to say that ‘our fight is for Kashmir, not against Kashmiris’.
National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah in a series of tweets, while thanking Modi, said that the forces who are harassing Kashmiris would stop now.