NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him ‘Prime Time Minister’ and said that when people were crying over the deaths in Pulwama, Modi was indulging “gleefully” in a photoshoot.
“Three hours after the news of the killing of 40 soldiers in Pulwama, ‘Prime Time Minister’ continued shooting the film,” Gandhi said.
“There was a lot of pain in the heart of the dear ones of the martyrs — they were going through ‘a sea of emotion’, while the PM was laughing at a photoshoot on a river,” the Congress chief tweeted in Hindi referring to the photoshoot on a lake.
Gandhi’s Twitter dig was preceded by a press conference by party spokesperson Manish Tewari where he raised question over Modi’s actions in the immediate aftermath of the worst ever attack in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers were killed.
The Congress for the second day on Friday asked why he failed to mention the attack and its victims while addressing a rally in Rudrapur district of Uttarakhand just two hours later.
“We want to ask the Prime Minister what he was doing between 3.10 pm (when the attack happened) and 5.10 pm.
At 4.40 pm, he addressed a rally through mobile phone. To the best of our knowledge, not even once did he mention the attack,” said Tewari earlier at the presser, where he played a DD news video as evidence of PM’s address.
“If he had condemned the Pulwama attack, he would have paid a tribute to the martyrs.. none of that happened,” he said, adding that Modi “deliberately” chose not to mention the martyrs.
“There can be no greater insensitivity than that,” he said.
The Congress leader said there was an even “more frightening scenario” than the Prime Minister merely failing to mention the attack in his speech.
“Was he unaware of the attack between 3.10 pm and 5.30 pm? He was either not informed about it by his office or he was incommunicado. That speaks a lot about the state of communication in the higher echelons of Indian state,” Tewari said.
He stressed the point that India being a nuclear power — surrounded by another nuclear power in Pakistan — cannot afford to have leaders who cannot be communicated in time.
“If you (Modi) didn’t know that there was an attack, can there be a greater incompetence,” he said.
The Congress even dismissed government’s decision on Thursday of stopping water of three eastern rivers — the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej — to Pakistan as “high octane jingoism” and termed it a subterfuge to hide the failure of the national security.
“The BJP-NDA government is a brilliant mix of arrogance and ignorance,” he said.