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Cong, BJP spar over killing of Amarnath pilgrims

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The attack on Amarnath pilgrims sparked a war of words between the and BJP, with today blaming the Prime Minister's policies for the "space" terrorists got in Kashmir, prompting a rebuttal from the ruling party which termed the problems in the state a "Nehru-Gandhi family" legacy.

Gandhi also said Prime Minister Modi's pursuit of short-term political gains from forging a BJP-PDP alliance in the state has cost the country dear and resulted in loss of lives of innocent Indians.

The also targeted Modi for his silence on the attack, with party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi saying it happened due to "gross and grave intelligence failure" despite specific inputs. The PM should have admitted the security failure and assured the nation of decisive action.

Hitting back, Union minister Smriti Irani said the challenges around Kashmir were a legacy of the Nehru-Gandhi family and that "the country knows it".

"After his return from vacation, Rahul attacks Modi, and not terrorists. I want to ask when Mani Shankar Aiyar (leader) sought Pakistan's help in removing Modi from power and bringing in the Congress, was it Rahul's personal agenda or political agenda?" she asked.

Aiyar, a former Union minister, had reportedly said during a panel discussion on a Pakistani channel that Modi needed to be removed if talks between the two nations had to resume.

When the Army chief was called a "goonda", she said referring to remarks of Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit, "was it Rahul's personal agenda or political?"

Gandhi, in a series of tweets, said, "Modi's policies have created space for terrorists in Kashmir. Grave strategic blow for India.

"Short term political gain for Modi from PDP alliance has cost India massively," he said.

The Congress vice president tweeted, "Modi's personal gain = India's strategic loss + sacrifice of innocent Indian blood."

spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi hit back blaming the Congress for the problems in Kashnmir and raked up the 1984 anti-Sikh riots to attack Gandhi over his accusation against Modi.

She said only those behind such riots would consider drawing personal gain from the blood of innocents.

His attack on Modi showed his "immature" mind, she said.

"If one person was responsible for what was happening in Kashmir, it was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister," the Lok Sabha MP from New Delhi claimed.

"He (Rahul) will do well to get a correct briefing from his advisers," she said.

Singhvi later alleged, "The government is soft on terror and has compromised national security. The government's failure to decisively fight and contain terrorism arises out of policy failure, (lack of) intent and clear direction."

He also said, "No amount of chest thumping, false bravado and TV studio warfare can now be an escape route for the to hide its massive failures."

Singhvi said for the last 38 months India had a "part- time" defence minister, which is a "sad commentary" on state of affairs that are endangering national security.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 12 2017. 21:07 IST