New Delhi: Alleging that "fake chest thumping" characterises the BJP-led government's narrative towards national security, the Congress on Wednesday hit out at the Modi dispensation over the Naxal attack in Maharashtra and said that despite its "tall talk" no lessons from Pulwama have been learnt.
The party alleged that the BJP has sought to "deeply politicise" the blood and sacrifice of the country's jawans, but have become mute when such cowardly attack takes place.
At least 16 people, including 15 security personnel, were killed in an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Gadchiroli district.
The blast followed Naxals torching 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor earlier in the day.
The Congress party strongly condemns this mindless and despicable act, and pays homage to their martyrdom and their sacrifice will not go in vain, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said in a statement.
"In the past five years, fake chest thumping, hyperbole, empty slogans and 'acronym building' have characterised Modi government's narrative towards our national and internal security," he said.
In the past five years, 1,086 Naxal attacks have taken place in which 391 jawans and 582 civilians were killed, Khera said at a press conference.
Will PM Modi take responsibility about the growing menace of Naxalism, he asked.
Last month, when a Naxal attack took place in Dantewada, Prime Minister Modi desperately sought to pin the blame on the newly formed government in Chhattisgarh, but the stark reality is that 1,000 CRPF personnel were killed in the last 10 years of BJP rule in Chhattisgarh, he said.
The complete laxity and inability of the BJP in Chhattisgarh in fighting Naxalism stood exposed, when well known security expert -- K P S Gill -- had stated that although Raman Singh and the then BJP Government had appointed him to head Anti-Naxal strategy in the state, but asked him not to do anything and just enjoy the perks of government.
Therefore, this ad-hocism in tackling the menace of Naxalism by Modi would not work now, he said.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the country needs preventive action, accountability for this failure and not 'jumlas' (rhetoric) and lectures.
"We condemn the brutal terror attack on our jawans in Maharashtra. India stands firmly behind their families, well wishers & friends in this hour of grief," Patel tweeted.
"Once again terrorists have targeted the convoys of our jawans. Clearly despite their tall talk no lessons from Pulwama have been learnt. It is a wake-up call for state and central governments," he said, referring to the terror strike in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir in February in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed by a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide attacker.
Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a tweet, said: "Strongly condemn the attack on C-60 Commandos in Gadchiroli. My condolences to their families. Their sacrifice would not go in vain."
Over 390 jawans have been killed in Naxal attacks in the past five years that expose hollow claims of securing India by the Modi government, he said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed his deepest condolences with the families of those killed in the Naxal attack in Maharashtra.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also paid homage to those killed the attack.
"In this hour of grief, me and the Congress party stand with the families of the martyrs. The whole country is against the violence perpetrated by Maoists. We will defeat this violent ideology together," she said.
The state authorities had definite information and intelligence inputs, after the Naxals had already announced that they will carry out such an attack, Khera said.
"The Congress-led UPA launched the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) in 88 Naxalism-affected districts. The funds for this scheme was sanctioned directly by the then Planning Commission and was provided to the districts through the Union Home Ministry," he said.
But, the Modi government has completely abolished this scheme, Khera said and asked: "Why did the Modi government scrap such a scheme?"
Khera, in his remarks, said the party will continue to raise the 'chowkidar chor hai' jibe as Modi had failed to fulfil his promises on jobs and welfare of farmers.