Congress party has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks where he had said that Pakistan was trying to influence the Assembly elections in Gujarat. Campaigning on Sunday, Modi also said that ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh met a day before Mani Shankar Aiyar made the “neech” jibe against him.
He also claimed that former director general (DG) of the Pakistan Army Sardar Arshad Rafiq had appealed for making senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel the chief minister of Gujarat.
The remarks has come in for criticism by the principal opposition party, which is locked in a keen contest with BJP in Gujarat Assembly polls.
“Ex-Pakistan Foreign Minister was here to attend a wedding, there was a dinner organized for him in which there were former diplomats, former Army chief among other dignitaries. Does the Prime Minister think they were all conspiring with Pakistan? PM must apologize,” said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Modi, while attacking Congress party once again over Mani Shankar Aiyer’s foul remarks had said that Pakistan’s high commissioner, Pakistan’s former foreign minister, India’s former vice president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh had attended a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house.
The meeting at Aiyar’s house continued for almost three hours, Modi said, adding “the next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said Modi is ‘neech’ (a vile man). This is a serious matter.”
“(On one hand) Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, on the other, Pakistani people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. After that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don’t you think such events raise doubts,” Modi asked.
Though Prime Minister Modi did not name the ex-vice president present at the meeting, BJP president Amit Shah said in Ahmedabad that it was Hamid Ansari.
Shah told reporters that the Congress leaders had not informed the ministry of external affairs or the Indian government about the meeting.
Meanwhile, reacting on the issue, Pakistan on Monday said to “keep it out” of India’s domestic politics.
“India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on (its) own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies…,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted.
The BJP have condemned Pakistan officials’ reactions terming it an “unwarranted” statement which seemed to suggest that it was aimed at bailing out Congress party.
“Today a very curious statement has been released by Pakistan foreign office condemning Pakistan being dragged into India’s election and stated that Indians must learn to fight the elections on their own,” Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
“Yes, I wish to tell Pakistan that Indians are capable of contesting India’s democracy on their own as they do… India’s Prime Minister is a popularly elected PM and so is the BJP,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)