West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday again accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for playing politics over soldiers’ blood. “You cannot win elections over jawans' blood. A jawan sheds his blood for the country. They serve the country, they do not indulge in politics. I strongly condemn those who play politics with martyrs,” Mamata Banerjee said.
Questing the centre over Pulwama attack, Mamata Banerjee said, “I don’t care if I am hanged for this. Why did the Pulwama attack take place? Why did so many jawans die and why politics surrounding jawans? Why was there no attempt to save lives?”
Launching a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mamata Banerjee said that PM Modi has made the party into private property. “We are against Modi and BJP. Modi has turned the BJP into a private organisation. Whenever someone says something against Modi Babu, that person is branded a Pakistan supporter. My father was a freedom fighter, I will not learn patriotism from them,” she said.
Earlier, Mamata Banerjee cited foreign media reports that not much damage was done by the Indian Air Force's pre-emptive strike on terror camps at Balakot, she said, "The Force should be given an opportunity to come up with facts."
"After the air strikes, we were told there were 300 deaths, 350 deaths. But I read reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post which said no human was killed. Another foreign media report said only one person was injured," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
She said, "We have the right to know, people of this country want to know how many were killed (at Balakot). Where the bomb were actually dropped? Was it dropped on the target?"
Government officials had said that in a pre-dawn strike, the IAF bombed and destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp at Balakot in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, killing over 350 terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.
At a media briefing in the national capital on Thursday evening, Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, assistant chief of Air Staff, said it was up to the political leadership to decide when and how to release evidence of the Balakot strike's success.
He was responding to a question on the skepticism in some quarters about whether IAF fighters had hit the intended targets. Kapoor said there is credible information and evidence that "we hit the intended targets" and it was premature to assess the casualties and damage.
Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said, "Every citizen loves the country and every citizen also has the right to know the truth." Apparently targeting the BJP, she alleged that an attempt was being made to reap electoral benefit from the Pulwama terror attack and the air strike at Balakot.
"We don't want politics over the blood of jawans who guard our frontiers. I condemn this attempt by some to reap political dividends to get votes.... We don't want any war for the sake of elections, we want peace," she said.