The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday sharply criticised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s comments on the first anniversary of the Pulwama terror attack, and claimed that he had insulted the Indian Army.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi had posed three questions to the Centre. He had asked who had “benefited the most from the attack”, the result of the investigation into the incident, and who had been held responsible for the security lapses that gave way to the attack.

At least 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in the terror attack on February 14 last year. In retaliation, the Indian Air Force on February 26 struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camp in Balakot in Khyber Paktunkhwa province of Pakistan. The next day, Pakistani and Indian jets engaged in a dogfight near the Line of Control. Pakistan captured an IAF pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, but released him on March 1. The Central Reserve Police Force ordered a court of inquiry to be constituted to look into various aspects of the attack.

Reacting to the former Congress president’s questions, Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy asked if a surgical strike or an airstrike had ever occurred under the Congress rule. “For the first time, Pakistan is afraid of us,” he told ANI. “Rahul Gandhi has insulted security forces by commenting on them.”

BJP MP and spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao alleged that Gandhi was a “sympathiser” of terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. “When [the] nation is paying homage to martyrs of [the] dastardly Pulwama attack, Rahul Gandhi, a known sympathiser of LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad, chooses to target not just the government but security forces as well.,” he tweeted. “Rahul will never question real culprit Pakistan.”

Another spokesperson of the saffron party, Sambit Patra, described the attack as a “dastardly attack” and described Gandhi’s comment as a “dastardly comment”. “Who benefited the most?” Patra tweeted. “Mr Gandhi can you think beyond benefits? course not..this so called ‘Gandhi’ family can never think beyond benefits..not just materialistically corrupt..their souls are also corrupt.”

BJP’s Party’s Information Technology Cell chief Amit Malviya claimed Gandhi was giving a “clean chit” to Pakistan by suggesting that the neighbouring country may not be responsible for it. “...allowed the attack? Are you, Mr Gandhi, suggesting that Pakistan is not responsible for the attack in Pulwama?” he tweeted. “Why would you insist on giving them a clean chit? Did you not see Indian forces take out terrorists in Balakot? Are you disappointed that India took resolute action?”

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