New Delhi: Opposition parties of the INDIA alliance lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for participating in celebrations at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office, hailing his successful leadership at the G20 summit, on a day when three officers of the Indian Army and J&K Police were killed in a militant attack in south Kashmir.
On Wednesday (September 13), the commanding officer of the Army’s 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Colonel Manpreet Singh, based in south Kashmir’s Kokernag, was killed along with Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police (DSP), Humayun Muzamil Bhat, and Major Aashish Dhonchak of the Army’s 19 Rashtriya Rifles.
On the same day, Modi received a grand welcome at the BJP headquarters in Delhi where party workers gathered in large numbers to congratulate the prime minister on conducting the G20 summit. Modi was showered with flower petals, as he took a victory lap around the BJP office and met party workers who offered him flowers and congratulated him for the success of the G20 summit.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday (September 14), chairman of the Congress Ex-Servicemen Department, Colonel Rohit Chaudhary said: “But it is very disheartening and painful to note that our Prime Minister Modi ji has shown utter disrespect and insensitivity towards the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers. While our soldiers (were) fighting the battle with Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in Anantnag, and news had come out about the death of our three soldiers and some were wounded, but Modi ji was doing his own Mahima Mandan in his own BJP headquarters by his own BJP people – who were showering flowers on him and Modi ji was projecting his grandeur image in front of the nation.”
“While the families of the soldiers are grieving, the entire nation was shocked with the sad news. The Indian Army was continuing its cordon and search operations in the hot bed area of the militancy but the BJP cadres continued their celebration.”
Trinamool Congress MP Saket Gokhale also questioned the timing of the celebration at the BJP headquarters and asked why Modi could not postpone the celebration by a day.
“What’s utterly shocking is that PM Modi chose to “celebrate himself for G20” at the BJP HQ yesterday with a grand party AFTER these bravehearts laid down their lives & the news was out,” he wrote in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).
Modi shamelessly celebrates while our bravehearts lay down their lives 👇
Yesterday our bravehearts DySP Humayan Bhat, Maj Ashish Dhonack, & Col Manpreet Singh laid down their lives while combating terrorists in Anantnag, J&K.
The entire nation is eternally indebted to them…
— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) September 14, 2023
“Couldn’t Modi postpone his self PR for just 1 day? Did BJP have to celebrate & glorify Modi when such a tragedy has occurred?”
Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha demanded an explanation from the prime minister on why the celebrations could not be postponed.
“The prime minister and the BJP should tell the country what was such an important ‘celebration’ that could not be postponed for two days in honour of the supreme dedication of the officers and soldiers of our armed forces.”
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said in a post on X that she “expected more sensitivity, especially on a day when our security forces have fought a fierce fight with militants in Kashmir.”
This could have been postponed, expected more sensitivity, especially on a day when our security forces have fought a fierce fight with militants in Kashmir. Already three of our brave men have laid down their lives for the nation, while more injuries reported. https://t.co/3SLTXSOqa1
— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) September 13, 2023
Addressing a press conference, Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh said that when the “funeral procession of our martyrs were being carried out, Modi was celebrating.”
“You (Modi) had promised that you would end terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.”
“When our soldiers were martyred in Pulwama, Modi was busy shooting a show in Uttarakhand. When dead bodies were floating on the Ganges during the COVID pandemic, Modi was campaigning in Bengal.”
“The government should give a befitting response to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. AAP will raise this issue in the upcoming session of parliament,” he said.
He added that while he and Raghav Chadha have been suspended from the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session, other AAP MPs will raise the issue in parliament.
Modi has earlier faced criticism in 2019 for allegedly shooting a show at the Jim Corbett National Park when the Pulwama terror attack took place in which over 40 soldiers were killed in Jammu and Kashmir.
Separately, the BJP parliamentary board on Wednesday passed a resolution hailing Modi’s leadership at the summit.
“We note with great pride the impeccable leadership and unwavering commitment showcased by Prime Minister Modi at the summit. The G20 Delhi summit stands as a monumental chapter in India’s diplomatic annals, marking a transformative moment in how our nation is perceived and engaged on the global stage,” the resolution said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Union cabinet also passed a resolution hailing the success of the New Delhi G20 Summit, held on September 9 and 10.
“It (cabinet) recognised the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in giving the Indian G20 Presidency a strong direction with a view to promoting growth and development in the world,” said a statement by the cabinet.