Hubballi: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, Dinesh Gundurao and chairman of the party's Karnataka Campaign Committee, H. K. Patil, on Thursday accused state BJP chief, B. S. Yeddyurappa of trying to gain political mileage from the country's airstrikes against Pakistan by his recent claim that they would help his party win over 22 Lok Sabha seats from the state in the coming poll.
Calling the statement in poor taste, they demanded that he withdraw it and apologise for making it to the people. "Are our soldiers fighting Pakistani forces or the BJP and RSS workers? The confrontation is still on. However, the BJP members have already started celebrating Vijayotsava. Patriotism is not the domain of any one particular group. The BJP is crossing all limits of decency by trying to politicise the whole issue to gain in the upcoming parliamentary elections," Mr Rao charged, speaking to reporters here.
Observing that this was not the first time that such incidents had taken place between India and Pakistan, he said, "Our forces have carried out such strikes in the past too and three wars were fought with Pakistan when the Congress was in power, but it never tried to gain politically from them. This is a time to stand united instead of one party trying to take benefit of the situation."
In the Congress leader's view the BJP was desperately trying to cash in on sensitive issues like national security after tasting defeat in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
Moving on to the party's campaign for the coming poll, Mr. Rao said Congress president, Rahul Gandhi would address a Parivartana Yatre rally at Bankapur between Haveri and Dharwad on March 9.
To a query, he said the Congress-JD(S) coordination committee meeting would be held in Bengaluru in a couple of days and the list of candidates finalised in the first week of March.
Meanwhile, Minister for Social Welfare Priyank Kharge slammed Mr Yeddyurappa for the latter's comment on the air strike. Speaking to the media in Kalaburagi, Mr Priyank remarked that BJP leaders should be ashamed of themselves for "politicising each and everything".
"Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Amit Shah and Mr Yeddyurappa are hunting for political gain in each and every decision they take. Where was Mr Modi when the attack at Pulwama took place? He was engaged in a photo-shooting session. Now Mr Yeddyurappa says the BJP will win 22 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. BJP leaders should be ashamed of making such statements", he remarked....