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‘Another Pulwama before 2024 polls’: Congress’ Udit Raj backs Rahul Gandhi with controversial remark, triggers row

A day after India solemnly marked the one-year-anniversary of the deadly 2019 Pulwama attack, Congress leader Udit Raj on Saturday made a controversial remark by saying that another Pulwama-like incident can occur before the 2024 general elections. He also took a dig at the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre by insisting that the Pulwama attack has been used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for electoral gains.

This comes after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had, a day earlier, asked three tough questions on Twitter, one of which was “Who benefitted the most from Pulwama attacks?” These statements seem to allege that the BJP has used the deaths of brave martyrs of the country selfishly for electoral reasons and to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on a strong nationalist sentiment.

On Saturday, Udit Raj supported Gandhi’s questions, backing his stand up by once again asking how the terrorists were able to conduct the attack and if the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had, in any way, known from prior that this could happen.

Taking to Twitter, Udit Raj said, “Rahul Gandhi was right in asking the question about the outcome of the NIA probe into the Pulwama attack. It becomes more important as the Ministry of Home Affairs knew beforehand that CRPF should not be allowed to travel by road, but by air. But still, this event was allowed to happen for political gains.”

Holding BJP responsible for the death of 40 CRPF jawans, the Congress leader said that after the Pulwama attack, BJP workers went out on candle march across India, which was the work of the Opposition, but it was done by the ruling party.

”The opposition should have questioned like the BJP did in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case as to how did the attackers come? It seems the Congress has missed the question, the time is right,” the Congress leader added. Udit Raj’s statement has triggered a political storm as several BJP leaders have slammed him for his remarks.

जो लोग सत्ता पाने के लिये गुजरात में नरसंहार करवा सकते हैं, वो सत्ता बनाये रखने के लिये 40 जवानों की जान का सौदा भी कर सकते हैं।

इनके लिये देशभक्ति और राष्ट्रवाद जनता को भरमाने का एक टूल भर है।

— Dr. Udit Raj (@Dr_Uditraj) February 15, 2020

In an outright attack at the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre on the anniversary of the 2019 Pulwama attack, Rahul Gandhi had on Friday inquired who has been held accountable on part of the BJP for the lapse in security that led to the attack.

Today as we remember our 40 CRPF martyrs in the #PulwamaAttack , let us ask:

1. Who benefitted the most from the attack?

2. What is the outcome of the inquiry into the attack?

3. Who in the BJP Govt has yet been held accountable for the security lapses that allowed the attack?

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 14, 2020

Later on Friday, the BJP targetted former Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his earlier ‘Who benefitted most from Pulwama attack?’ remark and said that Gandhi was a ‘known sympathiser’ of terror outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The saffron camp also added that the Congress leader’s remark was an insult to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country because his question was not just aimed at the government but at the security forces as well.

Opposition leaders have often questioned the centre over the enquiry done regarding the 2019 Pulwama attack. On this day, Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik said that to date, no inquiry has been commissioned to find out from where the 30 kg of RDX had entered the country and how the vehicle had reached the spot.

February 14 this year marked the anniversary of the deadly 2019 Pulwama terror attack. India paid its tribute to the 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed in the Pulwama terror attack in February last year. A memorial to the fallen soldiers was inaugurated at the Lethpora camp in Jammu & Kashmir’s Srinagar on Friday.

The names of all the 40 personnel along with their pictures is a part of the memorial along with the motto of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) — ‘Seva and Nishtha’ (Service and Loyalty).

On February 14, 2019, a powerful explosion rocked a convoy of vehicles carrying the security personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Jammu and Kashmir, on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway at Latoomode in Pulwama district. The powerful explosion, triggered by a suicide bomber carrying explosives in a car, reduced a CRPF bus to a mangled heap of iron and 40 jawans lost their lives.