National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday called on the Opposition parties to focus on matters such as rural distress and unemployment to prevent Prime Minister Narendra Modi from “politicising” the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot air strike.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after February 14, when 40 security personnel were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Twelve days later, the Indian Air Force struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Several Opposition leaders have asked the government to give details about the impact of the strike, but Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party have accused them of questioning the armed forces.

On February 27, Opposition parties said they were anguished over the BJP’s “blatant politicisation” of the sacrifices made by armed forces.

Writing on Twitter on Tuesday, Omar Abdullah said Opposition parties need to “switch tracks and deny the PM the space to politicise the recent terror attack/air strikes”. “The way to do it is to keep the messaging focused on the economy, rural distress, unemployment, agriculture and all the other things BJP does not want discussed,” he said.

“Every time we talk about Pulwama or Balakote we leave the door wide open for the PM and the BJP to play to their strengths in front of their home audience,” Abdullah said. “Logic would dictate we switch strategies. Make them play to our strengths now.”