The Congress on Monday demanded the accountability of Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the death of 22 security personnel in Chhattisgarh, alleging that he was busy campaigning for elections when the soldiers were killed by Naxals.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party-led government in Chhattisgarh is committed to providing all support to the paramilitary forces and the Centre in their fight against Naxalites.

“We are one and united in this fight, but, what about the responsibility of the Home Minister of India for the operation? Shall he continue to evade his duty, be absent completely, continue to do roadshows and public rallies for 24 hours and nobody should ask for his accountability because he is the holy cow,” he told the reporters.

Surjewala said media had demanded the resignation of a minister during the Mumbai terror attack just because the then Union home minister, despite being physically present in Mumbai to oversee the operation, had changed his clothes.

He said there was so much uproar in the country that the minister had to resign.

“But, here the Home Minister can do roadshows with film stars, hold public rallies, be in three different states, not come back to Delhi and then do as a great favour by cancelling the last two rallies in Assam and not be held accountable or not to be asked questions, I do not think so, that should be the yardstick in this country,” Surjewala said.

He also claimed that Shah did not return to Delhi or visit Chhattisgarh after the operation, but came back only after more than a day as he continued to campaign in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam for the upcoming assembly elections.

Twenty-two jawans of paramilitary forces died and 31 were injured in a gun battle with Naxals along the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh on Saturday.

Shah on Monday held a meeting with officials in Chhattisgarh and said the fight against ultras will be intensified to end the Naxal menace.

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