An Indian Air Force pilot in Pakistan's custody for the second straight day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party, the BJP, were roasted by the opposition for their continued focus on the coming national elections that are due by May. The Prime Minister had a video interaction with party workers today that was billed by the BJP as the biggest ever. The opposition parties, which have postponed their election-related programmes following the escalation in hostilities with Pakistan, said the BJP was using the sacrifice of soldiers for its political interests.
The BJP has been trolled online since yesterday after it tweeted about the Prime Minister's programme hours after Pakistan captured the IAF pilot following an engagement.
But the opposition pitch rose after senior BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa said India's air strike on the Jaish-e Mohammad terror camp in Pakistan on Tuesday has created a wave in favour of PM Modi and will help the party win over 22 of Karnataka's 28 seats in coming elections.
Mr Yeddyurappa said he was quoted out of context, but the Congress -- which had postponed its working committee meeting scheduled for today -- accused the BJP of "counting seats" when the nation is anxious to secure the release of the captured pilot.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has postponed his hungerstrike to push his statehood demand, tweeted:
I wud urge the PM to postpone this. At this moment, we as a nation, need to spend all our energies and time to get the IAF pilot back safely andto sternly deal wid Pak. https://t.co/HKgBeqSe8a— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 28, 2019
Mayawati, who has lately cultivated a distance from the united opposition, also was vocal.
"At a time when India is facing hostility of war and country needs firm leadership, PM Nrendra Modi instead of concentrating on the matters of national security trying to serve political interest by addressing his BJP workers is ridiculous besides betrayal of national sentiments," her tweet read.
Her ally Akhilesh Yadav, tweeted:
Even when our pilot is missing, everything - even national security - is seen through the lens of public relations and votes.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) February 28, 2019
The BJP only knows the politics of distraction, lies, branding and marketing.
Those who worship power will only be consumed by it. #BringHimHome
It's been nearly 24 hrs since our pilot has gone missing. On the other hand 6 IAF braves lost their lives in a helicopter crash. The nation is praying. We're all waiting with baited breath but not a word from our leadership.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) February 28, 2019
The silence is deafening.#BringHimHome
The BJP campaign managers told NDTV that the party was trying to keep normalcy in its programmes as changing the programme of the Prime Minister and other senior leaders of the party at this point would help terrorists' designs to disrupt the democratic process.
Yesterday, 21 opposition parties had accused the ruling party of "blatant politicisation of the sacrifices of the armed forces". "National security must transcend narrow political considerations," they had said in a sharply-worded joint statement after a meeting.