Akhilesh Yadav has provoked outrage with his comment on martyrs on a day the killing of a young army officer in Kashmir has led to grief and anger. Asked about soldiers being killed in Kashmir, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister ended up making the same sort of political statement that he appeared to be denouncing.
“The incidents that are happening right now, there are no answers to it. Somebody’s head has been chopped off, they are being mutilated, why no discussion on that? Soldiers are being beheaded and there is no discussion on that. I have said that Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and south India have had a lot of martyred soldiers, but has any soldier of Gujarat been martyred?” Mr Yadav said on camera, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.
“There should be no politics over the death of soldiers…There is politics over Vande Mataram. Who defines these things now? They tell us we are not Hindus…” he questioned.
The comments couldn’t have been timed worse; there is outrage over the killing in Kashmir of a young army officer who had gone unarmed to a family wedding in Kulgam. His body was found early this morning in Shopian, shot in the head and abdomen. While support for terrorists has been visible among people in south Kashmir, this attack and the killing of one of their own has triggered massive local anger.
The BJP’s Shrikant Sharma, a UP minister, said: “Akhilesh’s statement is very saddening. We strongly condemn it. He is unable to accept his defeat and so making such statements to vent his frustration.”