Expressing solidarity with the families of the slain CPRF personnel, leaders across the political spectrum Thursday condemned the deadly attack in Pulwama and asked the government to take strong steps, including initiation of political process to reach out to all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir through meaningful dialogue.
In a measured response to the attack, the top leadership of the Congress condemned the incident and asked the government to take strong steps to ensure that such attacks never happen again, but it let its middle-rung leaders to attack the Narendra Modi government with a party leader calling it the “most weak-kneed” government since Independence.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he was “deeply disturbed by the cowardly attack” and expressed his condolences to the “families of our martyrs”. AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra echoed Rahul’s views but said that “we must also reflect and be concerned about the high number of casualties in Kashmir”.
In view of the attack, the Congress cancelled the scheduled luncheon meeting on Friday that Rahul was to have with the heads of missions of G-20 countries and envoys of neighbouring nations, said AICC Foreign Affairs Department Chairman Anand Sharma.
“We demand that this government take strong steps to ensure that such terror attacks don’t happen in the future,” Priyanka said in a statement. She even cancelled a press conference — her first after taking over as AICC general secretary — she was to address in Lucknow, arguing it would not be right to have political discussions at such a time.
Condemning the attack, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “It is unfortunate that terrorism is again raising its ugly head in Jammu and Kashmir and precious lives of our paramilitary forces have been lost.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, however, went ballistic, saying the Modi government is the “most weak-kneed government in the history of India in the last 70 years which has utterly failed in defending India’s borders and in checking terrorism coming from Pakistan.”
Surjewala said the Pulwama attack was the 18th major terror attack “under the very nose of the Modi government which came to power on the plank of protecting national security”.
TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “We salute our brave jawans and extend our solidarity and condolences to their families. Our prayers for those injured. We wish them a speedy recovery.”
TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu said, “Strongly condemn the gruesome terror attack on CRPF soldiers. Deepest condolences to the families of the martyrs. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
BSP chief Mayawati said the incident was highly condemnable. “There is need for continuing the honest approach and wish to restore peace in Kashmir,” she said.
Samawadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, “The way situation is going out of control in Jammu-Kashmir, that is generating aggression in the entire country. BJP government should leave the electoral politics and become active in the interest of country.”
Saying that the whole country stands behind the sacrifices of jawans, CPI leader D Raja said, “The Union government should realise that the J&K problem is a political problem which needs a political solution for which there should be a political process to reach out to all stakeholders through a meaningful dialogue.”
In a statement, the CPM politburo said, “Violence is not the answer to resolve issues which require the engagement of all stakeholders in the state. The Modi government had promised, three years ago, to initiate a political process involving all stakeholders through a dialogue. This has not happened. This must be done immediately.”