While nation still reels under the horror of Pulwama terror attack, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday raised questions over the cowardice act by Pakistan-based terrorists group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), saying "I have doubts why the Pulwama attacks happened right before the elections". Addressing a press conference in Kolkata, the Trinamool Congress chief also came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government and questioned Centre's role to prevent Pakistan from carrying out such attacks in all these years.
Expressing her wonder over the timing of Pulwama terror attack, she asked whether the government wanted to go to war when Lok Sabha elections were round the corner. "Only when an election is knocking at the door, you think of starting a shadow war?" media quoted Banerjee as saying.
The chief minister also accused the government of ignoring intelligence reports and asked why the CRPF convoy was allowed to pass through the area despite repeated warning from the IB to sanitise the spot properly.
"The Govt had inputs from intelligence agencies on February 8 that such attacks might happen before elections. Why no action was taken? Why 78 convoys were still allowed? I also have intelligence reports that my phone is always taped, as you all know," she told reporters.
Mamata Banerjee on #PulwamaAttack:The Govt had inputs from intelligence agencies on Feb 8 that such attacks might happen before elections. Why no action was taken? Why 78 convoys were still allowed?...I also have intelligence reports that my phone is always taped, as you all know pic.twitter.com/KulUn9oUNe— ANI (@ANI) February 18, 2019
Banerjee further alleged that right-wing outfits, including the BJP, VHP and RSS, are "using" the situation to create communal tension and, therefore, appealed to people not to get provoked by these anti-social elements.
"Modi and Shah are giving speeches and trying to tell the nation that only they are patriots and the rest are not. That is not true. BJP, RSS and VHP are using this opportunity to create communal trouble in the state. I have remained silent for the last five day. But now I am forced to speak because I see attempts to create communal strife," the Trinamool Congress chief said.
Banerjee said she desisted from speaking against the Modi government after the incident but was compelled to talk about it now as "some people are trying to teach us what patriotism is".
There is a heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after as many as 42 CRPF jawans were killed and dozens of others injured in the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district in nearly two decades. The blast was followed by gunshots by terrorists at around 3.15 pm on Thursday evening.