Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government is unanimously convinced that the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army across the LoC, has been highly successful and will eventually turn a lot of votes in their favour in upcoming assembly elections. Although the party has asked its leaders to avoid chest thumping since there is no surety over the reaction of the attack from the other side of the border. According to a report in The Indian Express, the reaction from the ‘other side and sleeper cells’ can be unexpected, hence till the matter cools down a little the BJP has asked its leaders to not draw political mileage from the operation. A senior BJP leader was quoted by IE as saying, “These are still early days and some reaction can happen from the other side and sleeper cells of various Pakistan-sponsored terrorist organisations. That is why we have asked leaders not to make a big issue of the highly-successful strikes.”
During a meeting with spokespersons of BJP, party chief Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked them to carefully respond and make statements during media debates. Another party leader was quoted as saying,”The leaders have been told that no chest thumping is allowed. They were told that the Prime Minister was very clear about it because we are not sure how the reaction from the other side is going to be.” When it comes to votes and elections, the leader was convinced that BJP will benefit largely because of the strikes. He told IE, “Most definitely. Everybody knows now what a strong leader can do. We will certainly talk about these strikes and PM Modi’s leadership at election rallies in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa. But, for the moment, we will wait and watch.”
He added, “As of now, we have to deal it as a national issue. How much we can translate it into votes can be seen later. We will have benefits. Why should we deny it.” BJP spokespersons though maintained the stance that the surgical strikes were strictly meant for ‘national security’ and the party does not want to link it with political mileage or assembly elections. With BJP going for highly anticipated elections in UP, Punjab and Uttarakhand elections it is expected that the party will use the strikes as an issue. A party leader was quoted as asking, “People expected Modi to do so. Otherwise, what does 56-inch chest mean?”
Following the strikes, both PM Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah have refrained from making statements to the media.