Union Minister SS Ahluwalia has caused a huge embarrassment for his party president Amit Shah and spokesperson Sambit Patra along with other colleagues in the BJP by confirming that the Indian air strikes had not killed any terrorists in Balakot.
Speaking to reporters in Kolkata, Ahluwalia told reporters in Bengali, “I have seen the coverage in international media and have watched Indian media too. I have also seen Modi ji. Modi ji delivered a speech soon after that incident (Balakot air strikes). Did he ever claim that 300 people were killed? Have any spokespersons from the Bharatiya Janata Party said this? Has Amit Shah made this claim anywhere?”
He then explained why there were no casualties in the Indian air strikes. He said, “By entering their territory, we were able to send a clear message that we are capable of causing destruction. This is what was needed. We gave the message that we could enter your house despite all your security arrangements and identify the location, which we can destroy.”
Ahluwalia said that the Indian Air Force never wanted to inflict any human casualties in Balakot. He said, “We never wanted that there were human casualties as a result of the air strikes.”
His stunning revelation has come in sharp contrast to the claim, made by BJP President Amit Shah in Ahmedabad over the weekend, when he said that the Indian air strikes had killed in excess of 250 terrorists in Balakot.
The Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had disagreed with him by stating that his force was not able to verify that claim.
Ahluwalia’s statement will come as a huge embarrassment to Modi and his party as several BJP leaders were seen impressing the potential voters to project the prime minister’s image as a strong leader by using the questionable success of the air strikes in Balakot.
BJP spokesman Sambit Patra too had recently infamously claimed that the air strikes were successful in causing in the excess of 300 casualties.