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IAF airstrike will help BJP win 22 seats, says Yeddyurappa, then ‘clarifies’

BS Yeddyurappa had made the comments on Wednesday while speaking to reporters in Chitradurga.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2019 13:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
My statement is being reported out of context, tweeted Yeddyurappa.
My statement is being reported out of context, tweeted Yeddyurappa.(PTI)
         

Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa has said he was misconstrued after being criticised for his statement that the IAF’s airstrike on Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Balakot of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would help the BJP get more than 22 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the upcoming general election.

The former chief minister of Karnataka had made the comments on Wednesday while speaking to reporters in Chitradurga.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he would avenge the killings [in the Pulwama terror attack]. The whole country has welcomed this and so have the opposition parties. Youth are dancing and celebrating. The result of this is that it is easy for us to now win more than 22 Lok Sabha seats here,” the former chief minister had said.

And on Thursday, BS Yeddyurappa tweeted in his defence.

“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 (sic),” he posted.

Apart from the opposition onslaught, the senior BJP leader also was taken task by his party colleague and 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. ” Singh said in a tweet.

“This speech by Atal ji highlights our position,” he said as he posted a speech by late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament.

Congress leaders took to Twitter to condemn the statement. Congress’s Karnataka unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the BJP leader’s statement was disgusting.

“Most disgusting shameful irresponsible statement made by @BSYBJP. Using the #J&K situation for political benefit. Is winning elections becoming the criteria for BJP & not the security of India. Is going to war a electoral strategy for the BJP (sic),” he tweeted.

Siddaramaiah, former chief minister and chairman of the coordination committee of the Congress and Janata Dal(Secular) alliance that is in power in the state, also condemned the remarks.

“I condemn the [Yeddyurappa’s] statement, where he has used the martyrdom of our soldiers to dream of electoral gains, that reeks of political greed. The tears of the soldiers’ families have not dried up and already [there are] calculations on the number of seats! Disgusting.”

Siddaramaiah later said, tweeting in Kannada, that Yeddyurappa’s statements had raised suspicions on the intentions of the central government.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi must clarify on this,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site.

Yeddyurappa’s comments will add to the opposition parties criticism of the ruling party’s “blatant politicisation”of the sacrifices made by Indian armed forces.

The tension between India and Pakistan has ratcheted after Indian Air Force’s jets bombed the Balakot based Jaish-e-Mohammed camp on Tuesday.

The strike on the terror camp came 12 days after the Pulwama suicide attack in which killed 40 CRPF soldiers as a Jaish terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into their convoy on Jammu-Srinagar highway on February 14.

India shot down a US-made F-16 fighter of the Pakistan Air Force on Wednesday and an Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter pilot, part of the Combat Air Patrol (CAP) that engaged the in-coming Pakistani fighters, was captured after being shot down in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 13:55 IST

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