Jaipur: Congress on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of deceiving the armed forces, alleging that it has failed on the national security front - BJP's prime poll plank in the Lok Sabha elections.
"The government has deceived the armed forces. Modi is politicising the martyrdom of the soldiers for electoral gains but the security personnel get nothing other than disappointment and disdain from this government," said senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala at a press conference here.
The Congress said the Pulwama attack could have been prevented had intelligence agencies not failed.
Surjewala said, "Pulwama attack is a result of our intelligence failure. It is still unknown how terrorists get hundreds of kilograms of RDX, rocket launcher, and MI 4 carbines in Srinagar. How a car filled with RDX collided with the CRPF convoy given there is a standard security protocol in place."
"PM was busy in shooting a film before and after the attack. When the country was saddened, he was busy in addressing a rally via telephone," Surjewala said.
The Congress leader questioned, "Why did the Union Home Ministry not permit the airlifting of the CRPF jawans (instead of taking road) which only costs Rs 10 lakh."
The Congress released a list of 15 points on alleged security lapses and soldiers' welfare related issues under the Modi government. The list includes topics ranging from intelligence failure on Pulwama attack, fund shortage for armed forces, outdated security equipment, number of ceasefire violations in the last five years to 'martyr' status to slain troopers of BSF, CRPF and ITBP.
"Is it not true that the Army has no money to build roads along the China border? Is it not true that around 500 soldiers and 300 civilians were killed in the last 5 years in Jammu and Kashmir due to Modi's policies," Surjewala read out from the list.
He cited an RTI reply by the Defence Ministry to claim that Modi government did not sanction Rs 1600 crore needed for strengthening military installations.
"If the government can spend Rs 6000 crore on Modi's publicity and Rs 2,500 crore on his foreign tours, why can't it give Rs1600 crore to the military," the Congress leader questioned.
Accusing Modi of cheating the security personnel, he said that the government does not recognise BSF, ITBP and CRPF security personnel killed on duty as 'martyrs'.
Citing a report by a parliamentary committee headed by BC Khanduri, Surjewala claimed that 68 per cent equipment of armed forces are very old and decorative.
Surjewala said that Prime Minister Modi was resorting to politicising the services of armed forces to divert people's attention from his failures on farm distress, job losses due to demonetisation and attacks on Dalits and marginalised sections of society.