A day after Election Commission of India announced the dates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has sparked a controversy with his "Khoon ka sauda" remark for targeting Modi government by accusing them of using the IAF strike for "garnering votes". Talking to the media on Monday, Samajwadi Party leader said:
"Surgical strike koi pehli baar nahi hui hai. Pehle bhi ho chuki hai. Har sarkar main hoti hai. Lekin yeh kaha ni jata hai. Pehli baar surgical strike ke naam par vote maange ja rhe hai . Fauziyon ki zindagi par vote gine ja rahe hai. Bakshe bhare ja rahe hai. Ye pehli baar ho raha hai. Sarhadon ka bhi sauda ho gaya hai. Wardi ka sauda kar diya. Saron ka sauda ho gaya. Khoon ka sauda ho gaya hai".
"(Sugical strike was not conducted for the first time. It has happened in the past as well. It happens under every government but it's is not something to say out loud. For the first time, the government is begging for votes in the name of Surgical strike. They are counting votes at the stake of a soldier's life. They are topping up the boxes. This is happening for the first time. They have bargained the martyrs, they have bargained the uniforms. They bargained the heads and they have bargained the blood".
The "Khoon ka sauda " comment from the SP leader comes in close line with the "Khoon ki Dalali (brokering their blood) comment that was made by the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in 2016, just after the first surgical strike.
"You are hiding behind the blood of our soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in Jammu & Kashmir. Our jawans have given blood, they carried out surgical strikes. You are doing ' khoon ki dalali ' with the blood of our martyrs. Our Army did what they were supposed to do. Now do your work," Rahul said at a rally in Delhi to wind up his month-long tour of Uttar Pradesh in 2016.
Prior to that, Sonia Gandhi in 2007 referred to the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as "Maut Ke Saudagaar" (deal-maker of death). The comment, which created a political backlash, had played into BJP’s hands.