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Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the policies pursued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had created space for militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. “Modi’s policies have created space for terrorists in Kashmir. Grave strategic blow for India,” Rahul tweeted. “Short term political gain for Modi from PDP alliance has cost India massively. Modi’s personal gain=India’s strategic loss + sacrifice of innocent Indian blood,” the tweet read.
The BJP reacted to the criticism by blaming the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Rahul’s great-grandfather, and the Gandhi family for all the problems in Kashmir. “If any single individual or a family is to be blamed for the Jammu and Kashmir fiasco, it is Pt Jawaharlal Nehru,” BJP leader and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi said at a press conference in the BJP headquarters. “Instead of making allegations, he (Rahul Gandhi) should have read the history of his great-grandfather and his family…. If anybody is singularly responsible for the mess we are watching in Jammu and Kashmir, it is the Nehru family. Not only in 1947… even post that, repeatedly, if one person can be blamed, it is Nehru. And after him… the policies that the Congress followed,” Lekhi said. The BJP MP said Rahul’s comments reflected “an immature mind who doesn’t know the history of his own family”.
“The kind of language he (Rahul) has used, I do not know what personal benefit anyone can draw out of bloodshed. Maybe those who are responsible for the 1984 riots know it well,” she said.
At the Congress’s news briefing, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the BJP-led government was indecisive in dealing with militancy and had compromised national security. “The government’s failure to decisively fight and contain terrorism arises out of policy failure, lack of intent and clear direction,” he said. Sources in the Congress said the party would raise the issue vociferously in Parliament in the monsoon session. The Congress’s line of attack would be to link the attack on pilgrims with the government’s handling of Kashmir and the deteriorating situation in the Valley.
It will also harp on intelligence failure. “We want to ask the BJP government why no concrete preventive steps were taken even after a specific intelligence tip-off,” Singhvi said. “Two days before the yatra, IG (Kashmir range) Muneer Khan issued a warning to security agencies… warning of a massive attack on the pilgrims…. Why did the government not act?” he asked.