A shaken BJP is bracing itself for a full scale offensive from the UPA government in the next few days to pin the blame on the Raman Singh government in Chattisgarh for the deadly Maoist attack that nearly wiped out Congress leadership in the state.
Soon after the attack on a convoy of Congress leaders in Bastar region left 28 dead, BJP chief Rajnath Singh ordered cancellation of the BJP’s "jail bharo" campaign against the UPA in the wake of the attack. Singh also said that a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) should investigate the killing.
The central Congress leadership also restrained local leaders from turning the incident into a full-fledged political war right away.
The major questions facing the BJP are: whether its government provided adequate security to the Congress leaders and their rally, whether it acted on the Centre’s claims of an intelligence tip-off about an imminent attack and were the Congress leaders properly advised on routes to take for their "parivartan yatra" through the Naxal-hit Bastar region?
The CM’s stand is that the government did make arrangements to ensure the safety of leaders who were on the yatra. "But definitely there are some security lapses. An inquiry has already been ordered to fix the responsibility," Singh said.
Other BJP leaders point to the fact that 17 securitymen were also killed. They also claim Congress leaders chose to go through a route (through Darbi Ghat) that was not "security advised" and became "moving ducks" for Maoists who attacked them from a height.
BJP leaders say they can show that the Raman Singh government had always acted in tandem with the Centre on anti-Naxal campaigns. It was the Congress party and the UPA government who were not on the same page at different times.
BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "We can understand the anger, concern and anguish of Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi. But it is very unfortunate to make statements with political implications at a time of grief."