NEW DELHI: The Congress Friday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his "urban Naxals" attack on it, saying he is staring at defeat in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and is resorting to this to hide his "abject failure" and "weak-kneed" approach towards fighting Naxalism.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also attacked him while quoting his pro-Naxal comments made as Gujarat Chief minister. He also quoted Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh over his remarks made in 2015 that Naxals are "sons of the soil" and would be welcomed back in the mainstream as children.
He also said that the Congress had lost its entire leadership in Naxal attacks ahead of last assembly elections.
"Staring at defeat in Chhattisgarh/MP, a frustrated PM seeks to hide his abject failure and weak-kneed approach to fighting Naxalism, which he claimed to finish post Demonetisation. Post Demo, 1030 Naxal incidents till February 2018 and 114 jawans martyred (sic)," Surjewala said on Twitter.
Taking a dig at Modi, he said the prime minister indulged in his trademark "petty politics" and did not even remember the 11 jawans who lost their lives in the past fortnight, including five CISF jawans on Thursday, in Naxal attacks in Chhattisgarh.
"Reminding a spineless Modi Government that we lost 11 Jawans to Naxal terror in Chhattisgarh in last 14 days since October 27, including 5 CISF jawans yesterday. Did Modiji find time to even remember them today as he indulged in his trademark petty politics?" he asked.
In a series of tweets, the Congress leader quoted Modi, when he as Gujarat chief minister in May 2010 had said that "Naxals are our own people". He also quoted Raman Singh in May 2015 saying "Naxals are the sons of the soil and will be welcomed back as their children".
"Modiji, do you still stand by: Your own statement calling Naxals' our own people' and Dr Raman Singh calling Naxals sons of the soil' who will be welcomed like our own children'. Do you remember Congress lost over 25 of its leaders to Naxal terror under BJP's watch," he said.
He alleged Modi's "shrill claims and dishonesty" come to the fore when Naxalism-affected Chhattisgarh is allocated a paltry Rs 53 crore. It "speaks volumes about your incompetence", he added.
Modi Friday accused the Congress of backing "urban Maoists" who he said have ruined the lives of poor Adivasi youths.
Addressing his first election rally for the state Assembly polls scheduled later this month, Modi also said the Congress makes "fun" of Adivasis (tribals).
"I don't know why Congress makes fun of Adivasis. Once I had gone for a rally in Northeast India and wore a traditional Adivasi headgear but Congress leaders made fun of it. This was an insult of Adivasi culture," he said.