Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has kicked up another controversy when he said it was "Muslim soldiers" who fought for India's victory in the 1999 Kargil war against Pakistan.
The controversy-prone Khan, a minister in the Uttar Pradesh government, dragged the Kargil conflict into the ongoing high voltage Lok Sabha campaign at an election rally in Ghaziabad last night.
"Those who fought for victory in Kargil were not Hindu soldiers, in fact the ones who fought for our victory were Muslim soldiers," he said in a speech laced with communal overtones.
Khan also went on to say that no one can guard the country's borders better than those from the Muslim community.
"Recruit us in the Indian Army. No one can guard the borders of our nation better than us," he said.
Former Army Chief Gen VK Singh, who is the BJP candidate from Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency, condemned Khan's remarks, saying the Kargil war was "won by Indians".
"Anybody who talks of caste, creed and religion in the army needs to be condemned. He may be anybody. The war was won by Indians and not by any caste, creed, society, religion," he said.
Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said action should be taken against Khan for "intemperate" remarks that could lead to division of communities based on regligion or caste.