Former Punjab CM Channi Calls Poonch Terrorist Attack ‘BJP's Pre-Poll Stunt', Stirs Controversy

The attack on Saturday evening in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district resulted in the death of one Indian Air Force personnel, with four others injured.

Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi

A political row has erupted over a terror attack on an Indian Air Force vehicle in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district, with Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi sparking controversy by claiming the incident was "pre-planned" to benefit the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Channi alleged that the attack on May 4 was a "stunt" aimed at influencing the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. "This is what the BJP is known for - getting people killed and playing politics over the bodies of the innocent," Channi stated in a press conference on Sunday.

However, Channi's remarks were at odds with the stance of his party's president, Mallikarjun Kharge, and senior leader Rahul Gandhi, who both condemned the attack and extended condolences to the families of the victims.

Kharge described the incident as a "cowardly terror attack" and expressed solidarity with the nation in standing against terrorism. Gandhi also denounced the attack as "extremely shameful and sad" and paid tribute to the martyred soldier.

In a post on X, Kharge wrote, "Deeply pained by the cowardly terror attack on the IAF vehicle in Poonch, Jammu & Kashmir. We strongly and unequivocally condemn this dastardly terror attack and join the nation in standing together against terrorism."

"Our deepest condolences to the family of the brave air warrior who made the supreme sacrifice. We hope that the injured air warriors recover at the earliest and earnestly pray for their well-being. India is united for our soldiers," he added.

Rahul Gandhi wrote in a post on X: "The cowardly terrorist attack on our Army convoy in Poonch of Jammu and Kashmir is extremely shameful and sad. I pay my humble tribute to the martyred soldier and express my condolences to his bereaved family. I hope that the soldiers injured in the attack recover as soon as possible." 

The attack on Saturday evening resulted in the death of one Indian Air Force personnel, with four others injured. A massive search and cordon operation is currently underway  to locate the terrorists responsible.

The BJP has reacted strongly to Channi's claims, with Punjab BJP General Secretary Rakesh Rathore labelling them as "unfortunate" and "disrespectful"  towards the soldiers.

“The Congress is dwindling nationwide, leading Channi to resort to such desperate statements. It’s a disrespectful attitude towards our soldiers,” he said.