'If Balakot wins polls, vote IAF chief for PM'

'If Balakot wins polls, vote IAF chief for PM'

Congress leader & Author P Chidambaram during his book release"Saving the Idea of India" in Bengaluru, Saturday, Mar 9, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday asserted that aerial strikes across the Pakistan border after the Pulwama attack will not have much impact on the outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which he said will be fought on the issues like unemployment and agrarian distress.

“Are you going to ask for votes only on the fact that the air force struck in Balakot? Air force does not belong to BJP, it belongs to the country,” he said interacting with DH.

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He said issues like five years of failure on jobs, on investments, failure on economic growth and on the farm sector cannot be kept aside.

“If Balakot were to win elections, you might as well vote for the Indian air force chief to become the country’s prime minister,” Chidambaram said and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for politicising the issue at every forum.

‘Unanimity wasn’t intact’

“The Indian Air Force struck Balakot and we were the first ones to salute the Indian Air Force. I think the matter should have been left there. The unanimity among the political parties should have remained intact as far national security is concerned. But the BJP is blatantly politicising it,” he said.

The former finance minister said Pulwama is not going to promise jobs to the youth, it is not going to revive medium and small industries, nor is it going to revive the acute agrarian distress.

Pulwama, he said, will not be helpful in bringing down prices and spoke about non-food inflation rising above 5%.

“Remember, the upcoming elections will be fought on three major issues — jobs, jobs and jobs,” he said.

The NDA government at the Centre is charged with jobless economic growth and a leaked government data had recently said that unemployment is at a 45-year high in 2017-18.