BJP leader and former Karnataka chief minister B.S.Yeddyurappa on Thursday found himself making international headlines over his controversial comments linking Tuesday’s air strikes by India on terror camps across the border to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections that was splashed all over Pakistan news channels and online platforms.
The statements in which Yeddyurappa says that the air strikes would benefit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bag around 22 parliamentary seats in Karnataka, almost replenishing Pakistan's arsenal to attack and twist the intent with which India carried out the air strikes targeting terrorist training camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
“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," Yeddyurappa wrote on Twitter to try and control the damage his statements on Wednesday caused.
But it was too late to retract.
“Took two days to reveal the political game behind sending two nuclear armed nations into an escalated tension situation. It’s about 22 seats. In this day and age, no agendas remain hidden. Take note India and #SayNoToWar!", Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the ruling party of the neighbouring country wrote on Twitter, adding the hashtag “#LetBetterSensePrevail".
Yeddyurappa joining the long list of loose talking politicians whose insensitive remarks after such grave incursions taking the focus away from more pressing arguments that needs immediate attention.
Yeddyurappa's unthoughtful statements helping Pakistan play to the galleries as the victim and insinuating the parliamentary election as the reason for India’s actions and sidelining allegations that India's neighbours have become the biggest breeding grounds for terrorists.
While the BJP ducked media questions on the comments, the Congress carried out a full frontal assault on Yeddyurappa, who turned 76 on Wednesday.
Yeddyurappa, who has turned into one of the biggest hurdles for the BJP and its plans to introduce fresh faces to lead the party in Karnataka, now turning into a problem in India’s negotiations with the neighbouring country.
Politicians running their mouth off is not limited to Yeddyurappa as we have seen before. After the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 that killed 40 CRPF personnel, prominent politicians questioned the timing of the attack and linked it to the forthcoming general elections. Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Modi government of ignoring the intelligence inputs on Pulwama. "I have a doubt. How they (Pakistan) have got this encouragement when the elections are round the corner? I don’t know....why after Parliament is over. I am in doubt.... why have not we taken any action against Pakistan in the last five years," she said.
Abhiram Ghadyalpatil from Mumbai contributed to this article.