Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to prevent the attack on CRPF convoy by a suicide bomber in Pulwama in Srinagar in which 45 soldiers died.
Interacting with students of Stell Maris College for women, Rahul without going into the retaliatory attack on terror camps in Balkote, said the Pulwama incident showed failure of Modi’s Kashmir policy..
He said:” Pakistan will continue to support terrorist. We have counter that”. But that was only one aspect of the problem.
Implying that insurgency cannot be fought without the support of the local people, he said the Modi Government failed to end the sense of alienation among the Kashmiris.
Replying to a question from a Kashmiri student, Rahul elaborated that Modi could not embrace the people of Kashmir as “he hates everyone”.
He said that when the UPA was in power, it adopted this “strategic approach” of taking the people along in the fight against terror and as a result violence came down between 2004 and 14. “Compare this with the spike in incidents in the last five years”, he asked.
Explaining his famous hug of Modi and the wink in Parliament which led to derision in some quarters, he said it was to show he had no rancor against Modi
”Maybe Modi never got the love that he needed and that is why he hates me, hates my mother. That was why I embraced him to show affection”.
Rahul Gandhi also said he owed a debt of gratitude to Modi for helping him learn politics. He said :” In 2014, I was young, (I am still young, younger then), I got a thrashing in the elections.” That was a defining moment for him. “How can you hate someone who has done you a favour”, he said casually. A faculty member presented Rahul with a memento, a rare black and white photograph showing him in Rajiv Gandhi’s arms.
Though Rahul spoke of meeting hate with love, he could not come to terms with the killers of Rajiv Gandhi whereas his mother Sonia got Nalini Murugan's death sentence commuted as she was then pregnant and sister Priyanka brought a closure by having a long, emotional meeting with Nalini in Vellore central prison.
Rahul, however,has gone on record that he has no objection to release of the seven life convicts who have already spent over 26 years in jail.