West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “doing opportunistic politics over the dead bodies of jawans”. This was a reference to the Pulwama attack on February 14, which killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force soldiers, and subsequent strikes by the Indian Air Force on the Jaish-e-Mohammad group’s terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 27.
Banerjee vowed to remove the “blacklisted” government from power at the Centre during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, and ensure that even signboards of Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah cease to exist in India, PTI reported.
“As you [Modi] have done nothing in the last five years, that is why you need to show missiles, bombs and dead bodies of jawans,” the Trinamool Congress chief said, while addressing an event in Howrah district of West Bengal. “Don’t you feel ashamed that you are doing opportunistic politics over the dead bodies of jawans? We all stand by our armed forces, for our country, but we are not with the Modi regime.”
Banerjee also accused the prime minister of trying to paint himself as the only patriot in the country. “Those who are questioning the government over the outcome of the airstrikes on Jaish training camps in Balakot are branded as ‘Pakistanis’ as if we all belong to the neighbouring country and only he is an Indian,” she said. On Tuesday, Modi had claimed that Opposition leaders have become the “poster boys” of Pakistan, by seeking evidence of the Indian Air Force strike in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“The BJP should stop lecturing us on patriotism,” the West Bengal chief minister said. “We don’t need to learn it from them. We are for the country, but we are not there to support the blacklisted Modi government at the Centre...Either this country will survive or they will win. The sooner this government is defeated, the better it will be for the country.”
She claimed that BJP leaders surf websites every day to find out what religion she belongs to. “I want to tell them my religion is humanity,” Banerjee added. “They may not have heard about it as they have blood on their hands.”
The Trinamool Congress chief accused Modi of “terrorising everybody in the country” as if he was “Gabbar Singh”, a reference to a Bollywood movie character.
On February 28, Banerjee had demanded that the Centre share details about the Indian Air Force’s strike. She accused the Centre of politicising the operation. “We want to know what actually happened,” she said. “National television channels were saying that 300-350 people were killed [in the operation]. Some international channels say one died. We want to know how many actually died.”