“Yesterday’s action of destroying terror hideouts by entering inside Pakistan has resulted in a pro-Modi wave in the country, the results of which can be seen in coming Lok Sabha polls,” senior BJP leader and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa calling Indian Air Force’s air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan a decisive factor for the saffron party’s victory in Lok Sabha polls due by May, provoked ample criticism and condemnation across the nation. His assertion, even after stepping back claiming to be quoted ‘out of context’, more ironically and successfully, gave a push to the opposition who previously alleged ‘the leaders of the ruling party’ of ‘blatantly politicising’ the sacrifices of the armed forces. BJP President Amit Shah too, while addressing a chaupal (corner) meeting in the eastern UP district, urged people to vote for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same when the Indian Air Force said it had struck down a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot, Pakistan.
“Who can give a mooh todh jawab (fitting reply to Pakistan?) Who can wipe out terrorism?” he asked while launching the BJP’s Kamal Jyoti Sankalp campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Ghazipur.
“Just now we got news that a Pakistani jet which tried to enter our border has been chased back. Pakistan has been taught a lesson, after 40 years PM Modi has done it. PM said we’d reply to every drop of blood of our soldiers and he has shown that today. Youth are celebrating; all this will help us in winning more than 22 Lok Sabha seats (in Karnataka),” said Yeddyurappa. Now, out of total 28 parliamentary seats in Karnataka, BJP has 16, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) have 10 and 2 seats respectively.
Let us jot down carefully. Is war being looked after as an election option? Air Force excursions, warmongering, IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan in captivity, sacrifices of Indian armed forces, and the lives of so many people in danger — do these all equate to 22 seats in the eyes of representatives of India’s ruling party? Is this what BJP ‘Mission 300’ all about? Is winning election counts more for Modi-led BJP than national security?
Reacting to Yeddyurappa’s statement, Karnataka Congress MLA Dr. Anjali Nimbalkar said, “On one hand, our Jawans are getting martyred and on the other hand, the BJP leaders are doing vote bank politics and the statement given by Yeddyurappa threw light on the same. BJP’s real face is unveiled in public.”
“My statement is being reported out of context. I said that ‘situation favourable for BJP’, which I am saying for the last couple of months. This is not the first time that I said the BJP in Karnataka will win minimum 22 seats under the able leadership of Modiji,” clarified Yeddyurappa, though it hardly helped.
Karnataka BJP MLA Uday Garudachar said, “We never had any issue with Pakistan but Pak has provoked us by killing our Jawans. In retaliation, our PM took a call that terrorism should be wiped out. This is the vision of every Indian and Yeddyurappa’s statement has come out of exuberance and enthusiasm. We should not politicise the issue.”
Yeddyurappa’s confession acted as a major reality check and soon after his party perceived the damage done, Union Minister VK Singh had to come in to rescue. Putting a sharp reprimand for Yeddyurappa, Singh tweeted, “I beg to differ. We stand as one nation, action taken by our government is to safeguard our nation and ensure the safety of our citizens, not to win a few extra seats.” His tweet also included a video of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, an iconic BJP leader who died last year. Singh addressed the video stating, “This speech by Atal ji highlights our position.”
On the other hand, Yeddyurappa’s attempt to politicise the airstrike acted as a bonanza for the opposition parties which wasted no time to hone their political swords.”Dear (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) Modiji/ (Arun) Jaitleyji, Any more questions on politicisation? Regards, 132 Crore Indians,” tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
Karnataka Transport Minister DC Thammanna JD(S) asserted, “It is only a political gimmick. Nowadays, people cannot be fooled with false reports.”
12 days after the spine-chilling Pulwama attack, driving what the country’s Foreign Ministry called an intelligence-led “non-military pre-emptive action” against Pakistani Jihadi group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday early morning crossed into Pakistani territory for the first time since 1971 and carried out air strike on the biggest JeM camp at Balakot inside Pakistan’s northeastern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. As claimed by the government, a group of IAF Mirage 2000 fighter jets between 3.50 am to 4.05 am pounded the terror camps dropping around 1,000 kg bombs. Moreover, intelligence sources say that the ammunition dump blown up in Balakot had more than 200 AK rifles, uncountable rounds hand grenades, explosives, and detonators. Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed the responsibility for the February 14 terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama in which over 40 soldiers were killed. Indian government affirmed the strike to be successful and confirmed that a “very large number” of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders were killed.
Amid escalating hostilities between the two neighbouring countries, Pakistan on Wednesday captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman after aerial combat which followed an unsuccessful attempt of Pakistan to target Indian military installations in retaliatory strikes. The Indian government put out a strong statement objecteing the ‘vulgar display’ of the pilot being abused and said that Pakistan “would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to him”. The day also witnessed another crash where a Mi 17 helicopter crashed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam at around 10.10 am killing six persons inside the chopper. Later, on Thursday, confirmed that Islamabad will release Abhinandan on Friday as a ‘gesture of peace’.
“In our desire of peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody,” Pakistan PM Khan on Thursday said in the Parliament.
Political Analyst Dr. Mukesh Kumar spoke to Afternoon Voice and stated, “Yeddyurappa’s statement exposes the real strategy of the BJP and RSS. The government is trying to take political advantage of Pulwama attack while hiding their failures. BJP is spreading Blind Nationalism in the country instead of finding a solution to terrorism and Kashmir issue. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the fascism powers have waged war against the lower castes in our country. The soldiers, who are being killed at the border, are our brothers. It is an appeal to the countrymen to not get flowed with the blind nationalism.”