PM Modi on Tuesday accused the Congress for the sudden spike in Naxal violence in Chhattisgarh. Addressing an election rally in the state’s Korba, the PM also paid his respects to BJP leader Bhima Mandavi who was killed in a Naxal attack a few days ago.

“I pay my respects to Bhima Mandavi and the four PSOs who lost their lives in Dantewada naxal attack,” the PM said referring to the 9 April incident in which Naxals triggered an IED that destroyed the convoy in which the sitting MLA from Dantewada was travelling.

“It is unfortunate that the attack took place in an area where presence of Naxals had reduced,” the PM observed, adding, “Question is why did the attack happen?”

“When I came here during assembly elections, I had brought the statements of Congress leaders to your attention. Congress was calling Naxals as revolutionaries. Today, incidents happening here are because of encouragement to Naxals by Congress,” he said.

The PM also criticised the party for stating in its manifesto that it will review the AFSPA in Jammu-Kashmir and remove the sedition law.

“Congress has declared in its dhakosla patra (deception document) that it will remove the sedition law if it comes to power,” he said while warning the gathering to “beware of these supporters of Maoists and Naxals”.

Three major Naxal-related incidents happened in Chhattisgarh in April alone. Besides the attack that left Mandavi and four of his PSOs dead, Naxals ambushed a 60-member police party in Narayanpur district on 11 April – the day of polling in Bastar constituency. Narayanpur comes under Bastar where polling was being held in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019.

The extremists triggered an IED before firing at the party. The ITBP and Chhattisgarh police personnel successfully managed to break the ambush. No casualty was reported.

Read More: BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi killed in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada, PM expresses grief

Later on the same day in Narayanpur, a Naxal was killed and an STF jawan injured in an encounter between the Left-wing extremists and security forces in Orchha.

The injured jawan, a constable, was immediately rushed to the hospital. The body of the Naxal was recovered along with a country-made pistol, a knife, a pitthu bag and other incriminating materials.

At another rally in the state’s Bhatpara, the PM launched a scathing attack on the Congress for its chief’s remark equating all people with Modi surname to thieves.

“These people are crossing limits daily, according to them anyone whose name is Modi is a thief, what kind of politics is this? They have labelled a whole community as thieves only to get some applause, just to insult your ‘chowkidar’,” PM Modi said.

In a bid to attack the PM, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had at an election rally a few days ago asked why all “thieves Modi in their names”.

“Why do all thieves have Modi in their names, whether it is Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi or Narendra Modi? We don’t know how many more such Modis will come out,” he said at a rally in Maharashtra’s Nanded.

In a confident tone, the PM said that his party will form the government once again after Lok Sabha poll results are announced on 23 May.