The family of Kargil martyr Captain Vikram Batra has taken exception to the repeated reference of his name and the slogan "Yeh Dil Maange More" (this heart yearns more), by BJP's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi.
During his rallies in Palampur, home town of Batra, Mandi and Solan, Modi used Batra's name and "Yeh Dil Maange More", a popular advertising slogan Batra had said before he died in the Kargil war, to strike a chord with the masses here. But the usage has upset Batra's parents, G L Batra and Kamal Kanta Batra, who have expressed strong objection to it and said that his name should not be exploited.
"My wife Kamal Kanta Batra is contesting election from Hamirpur Parliamentary Constituency as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate but we have never used our son's name," G L Batra said.
Referring to Modi's concern for martyrs and ex-servicemen, he said, "If Modi is genuinely concerned about Vikram and other martyrs, and feels indebted to them, he should withdraw the BJP candidate Anurag Thakur."
An emotional Kamal Kanta clarified that they never approached BJP seeking ticket for contesting the election. "The AAP honoured us by fielding me. But we have never used Vikram's name or slogan in the election campaign as he belongs to the entire nation and wonder how Narendra Modi has used his name," she said. However, the state BJP chief Satpal Satti clarified that Modi used this slogan in the context of winning more seats for forming a stable government at the Centre.
"We have a lot of respect for the soldiers and the martyrs. Even Modiji, in his speeches, highlighted the plight of families of the martyrs," he added. In his Mandi rally, Modi said, "Today, I ask you to make the Lotus (BJP poll symbol) win 300 seats because "Yeh Dil Maange More" just like Vikram Batra, who sacrificed his life for the country in the Kargil war, using the same caption."