KOLKATA: Launching a scathing attack on BJP and its president Amit Shah, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O Brien on Sunday called them "the nastiest proponents of divisive and hatred politics" and said the Armed Forces belongs to India and not to "Modi- Shah-BJP."
"Look who has the gall to talk about ‘vote bank politics’! Amit Shah and BJP are the nastiest proponents of divisive and hatred politics. We will not listen to his lectures on patriotism. Our Armed Forces belong to India, not to Modi-Shah-BJP," Derek tweeted.
This comes amidst the Opposition claims that BJP, the party in power, is using the Pulwama terror attack and deaths of CRPF personnel for political gains as Lok Sabha elections are due by May.
On Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee said that her party respected the armed forces and did not like politicisation of the sacrifices made by the soldiers.
"We, as the Opposition, want to know the details of the air strike. Where were the bombs dropped? How many people died? I was reading the New York Times and Washington Post and they said that there were no casualties. Some media houses said one died. We want to know the details."
Continuing his tirade against the BJP, Derek said that BJP has no right to give a "patriotism certificate" as the party was hiding under a desk during the freedom movement.
"Khaki- chaddi wearing men who were hiding under desks throughout the entire Independence movement, now handing out certificates of patriotism. Thanks. But no thanks," he tweeted.
After Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out multiple air strikes at terror camps in Balakot in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, Air Vice Marshal RGK had in a press conference said that IAF has completed its "target".
"Whodunit ? Half a dozen Delhi TV channels obligingly carried ‘exaggerated’ numbers of casualties inflicted hours after the air strike. So one must ask: which top mantri in the Modi govt deliberately fed #FakeNews ? IAF have always been consistent: No Number," Drek's another tweet read.
Tensions spiralled between India and Pakistan after the Indian Air Force on February 26 carried out aerial strikes at a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror training camp in Balakot. The strikes were in response to the terror attack in Pulwama in which about 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives. JeM had claimed the responsibility of the attack.
The camp, located in a forest area atop a hill, was headed by JeM chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Gauri, who was involved in the 1999 hijack of Indian Airlines plane IC-814 and was on Interpol lookout notice since 2000.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the “pre-emptive” strike by India had become absolutely necessary as there was credible information that JeM was planning further attacks in the country.
On February 27, India said it foiled an attempt by Pakistan Air Force to carry out strikes in Jammu and Kashmir by shooting down an F-16 fighter plane while losing its own MiG-21 jet after which a pilot was “missing in action”.
Pakistan later acknowledged that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who ejected across the Line of Control, is in its custody.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday in the country's Parliament that the IAF pilot will be released tomorrow as a "peace gesture". Following which, Varthaman was handed over to India via Attari-Wagah border.