Gujarat polls: BJP asks Rahul Gandhi to come clean, asks if Manmohan consulted MEA before meeting Pakistani delegation

Ahmedabad: Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi should disclose if former prime minister Manmohan Singh met a Pakistani delegation earlier this month after informing him. He also asked whether Singh had consulted the Ministry of External Affairs on the same.

The Union law minister also wanted to know the Congress' stand on the proposed triple talaq law, and asked Gandhi whether a Ram temple should be built in Ayodhya.

"When we have a national line that India will not talk to Pakistan until the latter abandons terrorism, why did former prime minister Manmohan Singh go to meet a Pakistani delegation?" Prasad told reporters in Ahmedabad.

He said in 2007, in Havana, when Singh was the prime minister, a joint statement had said that Pakistan was also a victim of terrorism when everyone knew that Pakistan was "not a victim but a sponsor of terrorism".

He recalled that in Sharm El Sheikh joint declaration in 2010, Balochistan was referred to and it said India had a hand in the disturbance there.

File image of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. PTI

File image of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. PTI

"In this light, if a question is asked why Singh met Pakistani delegation when the country's line on talks with the neighbouring country is clear, what is wrong with it (in questioning the meeting)," Prasad said.

"The BJP would like to know if Manmohan Singh went to meet the Pakistani delegation, with the presence of high commissioner of that country, with due consultation with the external affairs ministry and with due information to Rahul Gandhi," he said.

Gandhi has, till today, not answered this question, the BJP leader said.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's insinuations about the meeting with Pakistani delegation that Singh attended were "unacceptable".

While Modi had suggested that Singh and some other Congress leaders colluded with Pakistan which, he claimed, was trying to influence the Gujarat polls, the former prime minister responded by saying that Modi was setting a "dangerous precedent", and should apologise to the nation.

Modi had said at an election rally that some Pakistani officials and Singh met at now suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's house over dinner on 6 December.

On Gandhi's visits to various temples in Gujarat, Prasad asked why he didn't go to the Ram Janambhoomi (in Ayodhya) or the Krishna Janambhoomi during the Uttar Pradesh election campaign.

"You are a Shiv Bhakt, that's good, but what about Ram Bhakti? You should make clear your stand on Ram Mandir, whether a Ram temple should be built in Ayodhya or not," Prasad said.

He also wanted to know Congress's stand on triple talaq. "We are in the process of framing a law on triple talaq. Does the Congress support the proposed law on triple talaq?" he asked.

Updated Date: Dec 13, 2017 07:07 AM

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