Questioning whether the Pulwama terror attack was staged to win the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday targeted the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government and demanded that a sedition case be lodged against it.
Speaking in Nagpur, Mr. Raut’s remarks came after former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, in an interview, claimed that Prime Minister Modi had reportedly dissuaded him from speaking about the lapses that had led to the Pulwama terror incident.
In February 2019, a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF transport in Pulwama, Kashmir, killing 40 security personnel.
In his interview on Friday, Mr. Malik claimed that the CRPF had asked for aircraft to ferry their personnel, because “such a big convoy (78 vehicles carrying over 2,500 personnel) does not travel by road”.
While stating that Mr. Malik had brought out the “explosive truth about Pulwama,” Mr. Raut said that the Opposition had asked these questions soon after the attack itself, but had been silenced by the ruling BJP by being dubbed as “traitors” and “speaking in the voice of Pakistan.”
“Satya Pal Malik has brought out the explosive satya (‘truth’) which is more explosive than the Pulwama explosion itself…but this is nothing new. People were aware at the time that some Indo-Pakistan incident would be manufactured for political gain. Was the terror attack staged with the aim of winning elections? Was there a plot to get 40 jawans killed for political gain? We [Opposition] had repeatedly tried to ask such questions at the time but were silenced by the ruling party and branded as ‘traitors’,” said Mr. Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP.
He questioned as to how did RDX reach Pulwama despite such tight security.
“Security personnel never travel along the Pulwama road. So, why was no air support provided to the convoy by the government and the Air Force,” said the Thackeray camp leader.
Mr. Raut demanded that the Modi Government not only be booked for sedition but that responsible ministers should be “court-martialled” for the Pulwama incident.
Attacking the Modi Government’s “failure” to bring to justice economic offenders like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya as well as launch a probe against the BJP’s friend (Gautam Adani), Mr. Raut said instead the BJP was trying to strangle the Opposition by unleashing Central agencies on them and “frame” them.
“The BJP is trying to break the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) using the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Arvind Kejriwal has been slapped with a CBI notice while [Bihar Deputy CM] Tejashwi Yadav received ED and CBI summons,” alleged Mr. Raut.
Speaking on the mega Maha Vikas Aghadi rally to be held in Nagpur on April 16, he said that the city’s political demography had changed.
“Whatever obstacles be placed in our path, the MVA will win not just major polls in Nagpur in the future but civic and local body polls as well,” asserted the Sena (UBT) leader.