Gujarat election: Congress hits back at Narendra Modi over Pakistan jibe; accuses PM of polarising voters ahead of phase two

Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's jibe at Congress for "conspiring" with Pakistan for Gujarat election, party leader Anand Sharma on Monday accused him of trying to polarise voters ahead of the second phase of polling on 14 December.

Speaking at a press conference, Sharma said Modi's comments displayed his desperation and that BJP's loss was now guaranteed in the prime minister's home state. On Friday, Modi addressed a public gathering in Gujarat's Bhabhar, where he lashed out at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, and alleged that Aiyar had told "people from Pakistan to get Modi out of the way." "Did you go to Pakistan to offer a supari on my head?" Modi asked.

File image of Congress leader Anand Sharma. PTI

File image of Congress leader Anand Sharma. PTI

Calling Modi's words reprehensible, the Congress said that a former Pakistan foreign minister was in New Delhi to attend a wedding. "Ex-Pakistan foreign minister was here (New Delhi) to attend a wedding. There was a dinner organised for him in which there were former diplomats and the former army chief among other dignitaries. Does the prime minister think they were all conspiring with Pakistan? It is reprehensible," ANI quoted Sharma as saying. On Sunday, he invoked Pakistan once again in a rally in Palanpur, saying Congress leaders held secret meetings with Pakistan officials.

"You people must have read the newspapers about the incident at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. It was an issue of hot debate, and the media said that a meeting between former Pakistan high commissioner, former minister of external affairs of Pakistan, former vice-president Hamid Ansari and former prime minister Manmohan Singh was held at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. The meeting had run for three hours and the next day he called me neech," Modi was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

Earlier on Monday, the Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad slammed Modi for dragging Pakistan into the internal politics of the country. Calling the comments "utterly baseless and irresponsible", Foreign Office spokesperson, Dr Mohammad Faisal took to Twitter to express his displeasure. He said that India should "win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies".

Click here for detailed coverage of Gujarat Assembly Election 2017

Updated Date: Dec 11, 2017 13:10 PM

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