How BJP may unapologetically be using the IAF airstrikes on Pakistan for party propaganda
Even in 2017, the 2016 surgical strike post the Uri attack featured in BJP’s campaign for the then assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
In what may be a subtle and deliberate attempt, the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be using the Indian Air Force’s recent surgical strikes on Pakistan and the prevailing tensions between the two countries as an agenda to push its party propaganda for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls later this year.
Ironically, after criticising the opposition and asking them not to politicize the Pulwama attack on CRPF jawans, the BJP seems to be subtly attempting to do exactly that with the airstrikes.
Hailing the airstrikes as a victory for India and a warning for Pakistan and terrorists, the saffron party managed to stir a sense of nationalism among the masses. Following suit, BJP chief Amit Shah did not shy away from playing the nationalism card during campaigning.
On February 26, according to reports, Amit Shah, while addressing a small meeting in Uttar Pradesh, said ‘only BJP can give a fitting response to terrorism’ and mentioned the IAF airstrikes. He further highlighted the 2016 surgical strike post the Uri attack. Unsurprisingly, the same surgical strike featured in BJP’s campaign for the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh then.
Shah also kicked off BJP’s ‘Kamal Jyoti Abhiyan’ campaign for the Lok Sabha polls 2019 right on the day of the airstrikes. Under the campaign, the BJP workers would light a ‘Kamal Jyoti’ in the house of beneficiaries of welfare schemes between 6 pm and 9 pm and then the beneficiaries would be asked to take a pledge to re-elect the BJP. Media reports show that the campaign, however, had taken a different direction, as people were made to come together to celebrate 'India's victory'.
If this wasn’t subtle enough, Karnataka BJP President BS Yeddyurappa took it to the next level by allegedly saying ‘the airstrikes will help BJP win 22 seats in Karnataka’. He had said that the airstrikes had created a ‘pro-Modi wave’ in the country.
Later, after facing backlash, however, Yeddyurappa claimed that his statement was being reported out of context. He clarified that he simply said that ‘the situation was favourable for BJP’.
“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,” he tweeted.