Under fire from the BJP for his controversial remarks against the Army, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Thursday said it seemed he was the ruling party’s “item girl”. “I am BJP’s item girl, they don’t have anyone else to talk about. They even fought elections here (Uttar Pradesh) focusing on me,” ANI quoted him as saying on Thursday.
Earlier, Khan, while addressing party men at the SP office in Rampur on Tuesday, alleged that “those ruling the country want to adopt the route of bullet rather than the ballot”, claiming that women “dahshatgardon” (terrorists) were chopping off the private parts of security personnel (“fauj”) to send across a “strong message”, which should leave the entire country “ashamed”. “Look at what happened in Punjab, Kashmir, Arunachal, Assam, Bengal and Jharkhand,” he said. A video clip of his speech is doing the rounds of social media.
The BJP lambasted Khan, saying his remarks on the Army would lower their morale. “It’s condemnable. It has become a fashion for some leaders to make statements showing the Armed Forces in poor light. Azam Khan is a habitual offender in this. This kind of atmosphere is not good for the country. The Congress, CPI(M) and SP have made such attacks on the morale of the Army earlier also,” he said.
However, Khan said he did not intend to demoralise the Armed Forces. “The statement has come out of the pain that I feel in my heart. It is being projected in a wrong manner. I would never demoralise the security forces… I was the first to question the Prime Minister’s visit to Pakistan after an Indian soldier was beheaded. But what I have said is a fact,” he said.