- Yeddyurappa said air strikes resulted in a "pro-Modi wave" in the country
- He said he was quoted out of context
- Opposition said BJP was trying to politicise the sacrifices of soldiers
Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa today said he was quoted "out of context" amid criticism over his comment that that India's air strike on a terror camp in Pakistan on Tuesday has created a wave in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will help the party win over 22 of 28 seats in the state in the national election due by May.
"The atmosphere....day-by-day the wind is increasingly blowing in favour of the BJP. 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," Mr Yeddyurappa said on Wednesday in Chitradurga.
"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 the former chief minister. The BJP has 16 parliamentary seats in Karnataka, the Congress 10 and Janata Dal Secular, two seats.
This morning, he tried to blunt the attacks but it didn't help. "My statement is being reported out of context. I said that 'situation favourable for BJP' which I am saying for last couple of months. This is not first time that I said BJP in Karnataka will win minimum 22 seats under the able leadership of Modi ji," he tweeted.
The clarification came shortly after he was rebuked by his party colleague, Union Minister VK Singh.
.@BSYBJP ji, I beg to differ. We stand as one nation, action taken by our government is to safeguard our nation & ensure safety of our citizens, not to win a few extra seats. https://t.co/V06LBMAJH3— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) February 28, 2019
This speech by Atal ji highlights our position:https://t.co/UyhobIpAny
Mr Yeddyurappa's comments have redoubled the opposition's attacks on the ruling party. On Wednesday, 21 parties alleged "blatant politicisation" of the sacrifices of the armed forces by the "leaders of the ruling party (BJP)." The parties added that "national security must transcend narrow political considerations."
Karnataka Chief Minister KD Kumaraswamy, reacting to Mr Yeddyurappa's comments, tweeted:
The entire nation is united in supporting the central govt&our armed forces to fight terrorism,while #Bjp leader @BSYBJP is busy calculating howmany extra LS seats the terror attack&Pak war can bring to his party. It's shameful to exploit our jawans' sacrifice for electoral gains— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) February 28, 2019
"There is no question of using it for elections. Sushma Swaraj had called for an all-party meeting and explained there. Rajnath Singh also had called a meet and everyone including Rahul Gandhi welcomed it," Mr Yedyyurappa told reporters in Yadagiri.
The Congress unit in Madhya Pradesh tweeted: "They have no shame. The country is tense, our pilot is in Pakistan's custody, soldiers' families are worried, and BJP is counting seats...Such lowdown politics."
In the early hours of Tuesday, Indian Air Force fighter planes crossed the Line of Control for the first time since 1971 and bombed a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the terrorist group responsible for the February 14 terror attack in Kashmir's Pulwama in which over 40 soldiers were killed.
The government said the strike was successful and a "very large number" of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders were killed.