In an apparent move to counter Congress on the Sohrabuddin Sheikh issue, posters have surfaced at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi talking about the alleged extra-judicial killing of Sikhs in Congress-ruled Punjab two decades ago.
The posters, an initiative of BJP leader RP Singh, allege the "CBI reported 2,097 (people) were killed in fake encounters in Amritsar alone during the Congress rule".
"Maut ke saudagar. Did we hear?" it asks in an apparent reply to Congress President Sonia Gandhi's controversial remark calling Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi a "merchant of death".
"Out of the 2,097 killed during the Khalistan movement, 582 were not even terrorists," Singh told PTI.
Though the BJP is hitting back at Gandhi, a general feeling in the party was that her comments help it set the agenda in Gujarat Assembly elections and it has also ensured resurfacing of the Hindutva card.
"We knew it (Gandhi's comments) was a no ball and there was chance for a free hit," a senior leader remarked.
Senior leaders were of the view that the controversy over Modi's comments on Sohrabuddin fake encounter will only help the BJP's electoral prospects.
For the record, the party criticised the Congress' continuing flip-flop on Gandhi's remarks saying the "statement was made with the intent of giving a signal to certain sections of voters, that this is how I can abuse Modi."
Rejecting the Congress statement on Monday that Gandhi did not name the Gujarat Chief Minister, BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley said "it was clearly an innuendo aimed at Modi," and alleged the party was making a false plea to escape legal consequences.