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Rajnath’s absence amidst Gurdaspur attack leaves Opposition fuming

Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh.  

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s decision to fly out of New Delhi in the midst of the Gurdaspur attack has triggered a controversy. He left for Bhopal in the morning to attend the Raising Day parade of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Neemuch.

A Cabinet colleague dismissed reports that the Prime Minister was angry at Mr. Singh leaving New Delhi when the encounter was on and the government was planning its next moves.

The Home Minister was able to chair the first meeting related to the terror attack only after his return to New Delhi at 5.30 pm.

The Opposition, however, did not spare Mr. Singh. “It is sad that in this situation, the Home Minister chose to fly to Madhya Pradesh,” said Congress spokesperson and MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi. “I don’t know how the PM can preach nationalism when his Home Minister is not around.”

Mr. Singh will make a statement on the attack in Parliament on Tuesday. The Prime Minister’s twitter handle made no mention of the attack till the time of filing this report.

Mr. Singh, it is said, had given his consent to attend event and he wanted to honour the commitment. Both the Ministers of State (MoS) Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhury were in Delhi since Parliament session is on and could have filled in for him, said a Cabinet Minister. Sources said Mr. Singh delayed his departure for Bhopal by an hour in the wake of the terror attack in Dinanagar and left New Delhi at 9.30 am.

Sources said this was the first time since 1993 that the force had decided to stick to the day and the place. All these years, the paramilitary force had been shifting the date according to the availability of the VIPs.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 3:11:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajnaths-absence-gurdaspur-attack/article7470911.ece

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