Ex-Punjab CM Channi calls attack on IAF’s convoy ‘stunt’, links it to LS polls

Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi on Sunday called the Poonch terror attack in which an IAF soldier was killed and four were injured, a “stunt” meant to make the BJP win the Lok Sabha elections.

The remark by the former Punjab chief minister and Congress candidate Jalandhar parliamentary constituency triggered a row with Union Minister Anurag Thakur asking the Congress leadership to seek an apology from Channi for insulting soldiers with this deplorable statement.

BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa called Channi’s statement appalling and disrespectful towards soldiers.

Replying to a question on the attack on the Indian Air Force’s convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch, Channi said, “‘Yeh stuntbaazi ho rahi hai, hamle nahi ho rahe’ (These are all stunts, not attacks).”

“Whenever elections are near, such stunts are performed to make the BJP win. There is no truth in it,” he said while replying to the question in Jalandhar.

Channi is the Congress candidate from the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency.

“The BJP knows how to play with people’s lives and bodies,” he further alleged.

One soldier was killed and four were injured as terrorists ambushed an Indian Air Force (IAF) convoy in Poonch district on Saturday, three weeks ahead of polling in Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency.

The officials suspect the involvement of the same group of terrorists who ambushed troops in adjoining Bufliaz on December 21 last year, leaving four soldiers dead and three injured.

Union Minister Thakur strongly condemned Channi’s remarks and asked the Congress whether it will insult soldiers to win elections.

He asked Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and party president Mallikarjun Kharge to seek an apology from Channi.

“They insult our Army and question the capability of our Army,” said Thakur, who was in Jalandhar on Sunday.

“Will the Congress insult our brave soldiers to win elections,” he asked.

Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar also condemned Channi’s remarks as “shameful”.

“Ghastly statement by CWC member Channi belittling the valour of our brave soldiers is no less a crime and an insult to the nation. Channi’s shameful statement on the attack on our Air Force personnel in Poonch calling their valour as a stunt shows the bankruptcy and frustration of Channi,” he said.

“The nation will not forgive him. He should hang his head in shame. The Congress and its allies should come clean on this issue. They should publicly disassociate from his statement and ask him to apologise to the nation immediately,” Jakhar said in a post on X.

BJP leader Sirsa said, “I condemn Charanjit Singh Channi’s statement of calling the martyrdom of an IAF personnel in Kashmir ‘stuntbaazi’.”

“Congress is saying that he was martyred because of elections. This mentality is not just appalling but disrespectful to those who serve our nation,” he said.

“Pakistan and Rahul Gandhi continue to support each other while Congress is belittling the sacrifice of our Jawans,” Sirsa said in a post on X.


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