Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing politics with the blood of the slain CRPF troopers ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, and claimed that the Centre had "prior information" regarding the February 14 Pulwama terror strike.
Condoling the bereaved families of the 40 paramilitary troopers who were killed in the Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed terror strike on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, Banerjee questioned why nearly 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were not airlifted and instead allowed to travel in a convoy without "proper sanitisation and naka-checking" of the route.
"Modi-babu, where were you when the incident (Pulwama attack) took place?
"You knew from before that the incident would happen. You had prior information," the Trinamool Congress supremo said at the party's extended core committee meeting here.
"The central government had intelligence inputs about it. Then why were the jawans not airlifted that day? Why no naka-checking and sanitisation of the convoy route took place?
"Why were the troopers left to die? Is it because you wanted to politicise the matter before the elections? The blood of our jawans should not be politicised in this way," she added.
Banerjee also ridiculed Modi, claiming that he has been pretending to be a "messenger of peace" while his party was secretly trying to create a war-like situation in the country and start a riot.
She claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might attempt to tamper with the EVM machines across the country, including in West Bengal during the Lok Sabha polls to manipulate votes in their favour.
The Chief Minister formed a three-member committee comprising of senior party leaders to train booth-level workers on how EVMs and VVPAT machines function.
"They (BJP) will try to tamper the EVMs. I have heard that they have contacted a private company to manipulate the EVMs in Bengal as well.
"We need to train our workers on how the EVMs and VVPATs work. During counting of votes after the polls, only depute those who are trained in these things," she directed.
"I am forming a small committee in this regard. Party leaders Dinesh Trivedi, Sougata Roy and Partha Chatterjee will be in the committee who will train the district level leaders about the functions of EVMs and VVPATs. We will not let BJP tamper with votes here," she added.