Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Tuesday criticised Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for describing the Pulwama suicide attack an “accident”. Forty soldiers died on February 14 after a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy.

“Has Digvijaya Singh reduced himself to such a low level that he will call the most heinous terrorist attack on 45 CRPF jawans as an accident?” Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, according to ANI. “This is their thinking.”

Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Congress was playing with the sentiments of the people. “What has happened to Congress?” he asked, according to ANI. “This never happens in a democratic nation where the people do not trust their forces.”

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said calling a terrorist attack an accident “should NOT be the political discourse in our country”. “Would you [Digvijay Singh] call Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination an accident?” he tweeted. “Don’t weaken the nation [and] the morale of our armed forces with these senseless jibes.”

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Singh criticised the Modi government for the events following the Pulwama attack and the conflicting claims that BJP leaders have made about the number of terrorists killed in the Balakot air strike on February 26. While the Indian Air Force has refused to put a number on the casualties, Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and Union minister SS Ahluwalia have specified several figures.

While referring to the Pulwama attack, Singh used the word “durghatana” – which could mean accident, tragedy or disaster. He said that some international media organisations had raised doubts on the Indian air strikes across the Line of Control, which has in turn led to questions being raised over the government’s credibility.

Singh also blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party for trying to make this an election issue.

“Where is the doubt that Pulwama was a suicide attack,” he said on Twitter after facing criticism on social media as well as from BJP leaders. “But once again, Modi’s troll army is avoiding answering the basic question.”

“Modi had said that demonetisation will finish terrorism, but it has only increased,” he added. “They killed ‘300’ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad but terror attacks in Kashmir continue. “Why is Modi shying away from informing the country about the reality?”

On Tuesday, Singh reiterated his demand for an explanation from the Centre about the strikes, ANI reported. “Some ministers say 300 killed, BJP President [Amit Shah] says 250 died, Yogi [Adityanath] says 400 killed, SS Ahluwalia says nobody died,” he said. “I haven’t asked for explanation, but when questions are raised on the Indian Air Force and Indian government’s credibility, in such a situation the Centre must give an explanation.”