New Delhi: The explosion near Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office will help the party in next month's assembly elections, Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad said Wednesday.
"If the blast near BJP's office in Banglore is a terror attack, it will certainly help the BJP politically on the eve of election," Ahmad said on Twitter. The election will be held May 5.
His remarks were criticised by the BJP as unwarranted and uncalled for.
"Such remarks are uncalled for and should not have come from a senior Congress leader. The party (Congress) has already accepted defeat in Karnataka," said BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi.
Sixteen people were injured, two of them seriously, in the explosion in crowded residential locality of Malleshwaram in north Bangalore.
BJP says Shakeel's comment 'uncalled for'
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday termed Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad's comment on the Bangalore blast as 'unwarranted', and asked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to reprimand her spokesperson.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that it is extremely unfortunate that the Congress is playing politics on the issue of terrorism and blasts.
"The comment of a Congress spokesperson is completely uncalled for and the Bharatiya Janata Party condemns it. I would like to ask the Congress President whether their spokespersons are authorised to make such comments even on the blasts. Does vote has any relationship with the blasts or acts of terror?" asked Hussain.
"The Congress eyes upon votes in everything, as if terrorism is not an issue for the Congress, but vote is an important one. The comment is uncalled for and the Congress President should reprimand her spokesperson because this statement will act as a salt on the wounds of the victims," he added.
Congress Party, however, downplayed its leader Shakeel Ahmad's comment, saying terror attacks should not be made political.
Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said bomb explosions and incidents related to terror are a national problem and also an international problem to some extent.
"We see terrorism from that perspective. It is a matter of grave concern, sorrow and a challenge to the entire nation. We must not see them (terror attacks) from the perspective of political gain or loss," said Dwivedi.
"Whatever I am saying is on the party's behalf," he added, when asked whether Ahmad's remark is his personal opinion or that of the Congress Party.
Cong distances itself from Shakeel Ahmed's remark
Congress today distanced itself from party leader Shakeel Ahmed's remarks that the blast near BJP office in Bangalore will help the Opposition party politically and said it does not view the problem of terrorism in terms of political benefit or loss.
"We all know terrorism is a national issue or problem. And not only that to some extent an international problem. We do not view the problem in terms of political benefit or loss," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
He said that the problem of terrorism should be a concern for all the citizens and should be faced unitedly.
"Whatever I am saying, I am saying on behalf of the party," Dwivedi insisted.
He was responding to Ahmed's remarks made in this regard on the microblogging site Twitter.
Ahmed had tweeted,"If the blast near BJP's office in Bangalore is a terror attack, it will certainly help the BJP politically on the eve of election".
At least 16 people, including 11 policemen, were injured in the bomb blast, apparently targeting the Karnataka BJP city office ahead of the May 5 Assembly polls.
Five civilians, including three women, were also injured in the blast, which was described as a "clear act of terror" by Deputy Chief Minister and state Home Minister R Ashok, saying it was targeted at the party workers and its leaders.
"It is a very clear act of terror...It is targeted at the BJP, our senior leaders and workers", Ashoka said.