BJP's Telangana unit president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Tuesday found himself in a row following comments that his party would conduct a "surgical strike" in the old city of Hyderabad to chase away Rohingyas and Pakistanis after it wins the post of Mayor in the civic polls.
Elections should be held in the city without the presence of Rohingyas, Pakistanis, and Afghanistanis as voters, he said, adding such elections are possible only with the BJP. “GHMC polls should be conducted without illegal voters from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Rohingyas. We will conduct a surgical strike in the old city once we win the polls,” Kumar said while campaigning for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections in Hyderabad.
Kumar, who was speaking during the BJP's campaign for the civic elections, alleged that TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was trying to win the polls through incorrect means in the wake of TRS's loss to BJP in the recent bypoll to Dubbak Assembly constituency.
"Unsure of winning, he (Rao) has taken another person on his side. Who is he? (asking people). Owaisi was saying yesterday... if Rohingyas are there in Hyderabad, what is Amit Shah doing? After BJP Mayoral candidate wins in this election, BJP will take the responsibility to send away Rohingyas and Pakistanis by conducting a surgical strike on your old city," he said.
Those trying to win elections with Muslim votes, indulging in appeasement of minorities, claim to be secularists, and the BJP, which supports respecting the sentiments of 80 percent of Hindus, is dubbed as communal, said Kumar, known for his strong Hindutva views.
The comments of the BJP leader drew sharp criticism from TRS working president KT Rama Rao who asked whether Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy would condone the "reprehensible" and "hate-filled" comments of his party colleague. Being in power at the Centre, BJP leaders should conduct surgical strikes on problems like poverty and unemployment, Rama Rao said.
"Do surgical strikes on poverty, corruption, and on those who commit crimes on women, not on Hyderabad. Today, for votes and seats they are spoiling the peace and harmony of Hyderabadis," he said. Rama Rao appealed to people not to fall prey for such "dirty politics."
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, reacting to the BJP leader's comments, dared the BJP-led NDA government to conduct surgical strikes on Chinese PLA which "occupied Indian Territory." "A BJP leader said if they win Baldia (GHMC) elections, then they will conduct surgical strikes on the old city. He (BJP leader) said they will conduct surgical strikes and flush out Pakistanis and Rohingyas.
I want to ask BJP on whom you would conduct surgical strikes? These (those living in the old city) are Indian only," he said. "I want to tell the BJP whoever gave that statement, I want to tell the Prime Minister, China's PLA has encroached our land in Ladakh. Mr Modi would you not conduct surgical strikes on Chinese who occupied our land," Owaisi said during his poll campaign.
He wanted to know how many Pakistanis are there in the old city and asked if Home Minister Amit Shah was weak. He also said he will not allow any Pakistani to live in Hyderabad. Owaisi further alleged that BJPs intention was to create enmity among people (through such statements). But, they will not succeed in their intentions, he added.
(Inputs from PTI and ANI)