Upping the ante on Congress over Sam Pitroda’s remarks that raised questions on Balakot terror strike and sought facts about casualty, BJP chief Amit Shah invoked the imagery of “blood of martyrs” and sought an apology from Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
Amid a view in political circles that the remarks of Pitroda coming in the midst of Lok Sabha poll campaigning, could create troubles for Congress, Shah revived the “appeasement” charge on the main Opposition party as BJP seeks to give momentum to the national security and Hindutva narrative in the Lok Sabha polls.
He also assured countrymen that only BJP can provide security to the nation and give a befitting reply to terror while also accusing the Congress of having "insulted" the martyrdom of soldiers.
“For decades, it has been a tradition in Congress that they engage in politics of appeasement. Congress has sown the seeds of appeasement in the country. Can the politics of vote bank be above the blood of martyrs? Congress President should answer it. You seek an apology from people of the country, from the family of martyr jawans and from the security forces,” Shah said.
Ever since Pitroda made the remarks citing foreign publications questioning the figure of casualty in Balakot strike, BJP has kept the attack on the main Opposition party even as the latter tried to downplay the comments as “personal opinion of an individual”.
The BJP has been trying to hammer home the point that the remarks of Pitroda, a close aide of late Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, point to the psyche of the Congress on the issue of national.
Shah, who asked Rahul Gandhi to clear his stand on the issue, also asked him to apologise to the country, to the families of those killed in the Pulwama terror attack and the armed forces, asserting that merely distance itself from his comments will not do.
"Does the Congress believe that terror incidents that happen in the country have nothing to do with the Pakistan government or Pakistan army?" Shah asked, seeking Gandhi's response.
Red-faced over the row, Congress latched to PM Modi’s letter to Pakistan Prime Imran Khan on Pakistan National Day and Yeddy diaries to attack it but Shah dismissed these as “face-saving exercise” after “Congress face got exposed yesterday.”
“This is the politics of vote bank. How low will you stoop down for this,” Shah said.