The Congress targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged silence over the attack on Amarnath pilgrims with party vice president Rahul Gandhi accusing him of pursuing policies that created “space for terrorists” in Kashmir. The Congress vice president also said that the prime minister’s “pursuit of short-term political gains” from the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir had cost the country dear and resulted in sacrifices of innocent Indians. “Modi’s policies have created space for terrorists in Kashmir. Grave strategic blow for India. Short term political gain for Modi from PDP alliance has cost India massively,” he said in a series of tweets. Gandhi also tweeted, “Modi’s personal gain = India’s strategic loss + sacrifice of innocent Indian blood”.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the attack happened due to “gross and grave intelligence failure” despite specific inputs and condemned the prime minister for not coming forward to either admit the grave security failure or assure the nation of decisive action. “BJP government is ‘soft on terror’ and has compromised national security. The government’s failure to decisively fight and contain terrorism arises out of policy failure, intent and clear direction,” he said. He added, “No amount of chest thumping, false bravado and TV studio warfare can now be an escape route for the BJP to hide its massive failures”. Singhvi said since the past 38 months, India only has a “part time” defence minister, which is a “sad commentary” on the state of affairs. He questioned why the prime minister should not own responsibility for “endangering our national security”. “We have not even heard a single syllable on the momentous failure on the part of PM Narendra Modi on steps being taken,” he alleged.
The Congress leader said after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, MoS Home Hansraj Ahir claimed that the government “will look into security lapses and will fill in the gaps”, while MoS in PMO Jitendra Singh showered praises on the prime minister and said that “he is personally monitoring the situation”. Singhvi said while the Union ministers and BJP’s deputy CM in Jammu and Kashmir Nirmal Singh is conceding that “there was definitely a lapse in security”, BJP General Secretary in-charge of the state Ram Madhav sharply contradicted them saying “there was no security lapse”. “Why is the BJP speaking in multiple, contradictory, antithetical and discrepant voices?” he asked. Singhvi said the Congress wants to ask the BJP government why no concrete preventive steps were taken even after a specific intelligence tip-off on June 27. He accused the government of offering “similar platitudes” after every terror attack with the prime minister refusing to come forward.
Singhvi claimed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was grim and the BJP-PDP government was unwilling to accept its “gross failures” with the situation in the state reaching a “point of no return”. “How many times do we need to remind BJP-PDP of their Constitutional obligations to govern and provide basic security to the people? Merely tweeting on Kashmiriyat and replying to a troll will not absolve the Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh of the primary responsibility to maintain peace and tranquillity,” he said. The Congress vice president had yesterday termed the attack on Amarnath pilgrims a “grave and unacceptable security lapse” and asked the prime minister to accept responsibility. He had also said India would never be intimidated by terrorists.
Opposition parties had also asked the government to introspect on its failure to prevent the “cowardly and ghastly” terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims despite reports of advance intelligence inputs.