- "Action taken was not to win a few extra seats," said VK Singh in a tweet
- "Air strikes will help BJP win 22 seats," BS Yeddyurappa earlier said
- He later clarified saying his statement was "reported out of context"
Union Minister VK Singh today put out a sharp and public rebuke for his own party colleague, Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa, who has been widely condemned for saying that India's air strikes on a terror camp in Pakistan on Tuesday will help the ruling party win many more seats in the national election due by May.
"I beg to differ. We stand as one nation, action taken by our government is to safeguard our nation and ensure safety of our citizens, not to win a few extra seats. This speech by Atalji highlights our position," tweeted VK Singh, posting a video of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, an iconic BJP leader who died last year.
.@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, the BJP's top leader in Karnataka, has provoked criticism for his ill-considered comments to reporters on Wednesday.
"Day by day, the wind is increasingly blowing in favour of the BJP. Yesterday's (Tuesday'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.
"It has enthused youths; all this will help us in winning more than 22 Lok Sabha seats (in Karnataka)," the former chief minister added. The BJP has 16 parliamentary seats in Karnataka, the Congress 10 and Janata Dal Secular two seats.
Mr Yeddyurappa today offered a clarification that hardly helped: "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 first time that I said the BJP in Karnataka will win minimum 22 seats under the able leadership of Modiji."
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.- B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) February 28, 2019
"Dear (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) Modiji/ (Arun) Jaitleyji, Any more questions on politicisation? Regards, 132 Crore Indians," tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
"Shocking and shameful that in this time of grave national crisis, BJP Leader Yeddyurappa says air strikes will help BJP win 22 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. Will ruling party leaders stop thinking about their reelection plans and focus on the country for once," said the CPM.
Indian Air Force fighter planes on Tuesday 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.