New Delhi: The fall of UPA II was the result of a massive ‘conspiracy’ spanning over four years hatched by Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF). This is what the Congress would have us believe.
“There was a conspiracy hatched in 2010 by RSS. The strategy was chalked out at the VIF by the present chief of the NSC (National Security Council) along with a few others including Arvind Kejriwal and a Baba to destabilize the then UPA government,” alleged Anand Sharma, former Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Textiles.
Sharma referred to Ajit Doval, the current National Security Advisor, as one of the co-conspirators. Often referred to as a ‘hawk’, Doval, one of the sharpest brains in Indian intelligence, retired as director, Intelligence Bureau in 1995.
Sharma was addressing a public meeting of the Congress candidate from Greater Kailash assembly constituency, Sharmistha Mukherjee at Bhanwra Chowk in Chirag Dilli on Wednesday. While pitching for Sharmistha, the daughter of the country’s President Pranab Mukherjee, Sharma tried to justify the decline of the Congress by saying, “The Congress did a lot on several fronts including country’s economy, but probably failed to communicate its success story properly to the masses.”
In response to the allegation, BJP’s national vice president and Rajya Sabha member, Prabhat Jha told Firstpost, “What can be said about such a childish statement, which is absolutely meaningless and absurd?”
Added BJP’s national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh, “Instead of looking outside for excuses for their downfall, Anand Sharma should look inside first and answer why series of scams like 2G, Coalgate, CWG, DaamaadG (Robert Vadra) etc happened in the Congress regime. The UPA government continued with corruption and ultimately they had to face the anger of the people.”
However, this is not the first time that any Congress leader is leveling allegation of “hatching conspiracy” against the UPA government and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal’s involvement in it. Prior to this, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on January 24 had remarked, “I have always said that AAP is Team B of the BJP, because they both protest and fight against corruption at the behest of the RSS, still they (AAP) are team B (sic)."
“My charge is, and I'm repeating it, in February 2010 a meeting was held in VIF in Delhi... where Gurumurthy, Govindacharya of the RSS, Baba Ramdev, Arvind Kejriwal and the then Vivekananda International Foundation's Director Nripendra Misra, who is now the PS to Prime Minister and a nominee of Sri Sri Ravishankar were present and they had decided to involve Anna Hazare in the anti- corruption movement," Digvijay Singh had said.
In a sudden turn of events, when the public meet was in progress, AAP’s candidate and MLA of GK constituency, Saurabh Bhardwaj climbed up on the dais and challenged a Congress leader to prove veracity of the false allegations being levelled against his party by the Congressmen. Seeing Bhardwaj, who lives close to the meeting venue on stage, a local Congress leader announced on mike, “Our Saurabh Bhardwaj Bhai has come to lend support to us.”
“I didn’t hear what Anand Sharma had said, as I came late, but I challenged the Congress leaders to have a face-to-face debate on the allegations they had been levelling against us. They have been telling lies,” Bhardwaj told Firstpost.
The chief spokesperson and senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said, “First the Congress should convince the BJP about this conspiracy theory and make it clear whether the AAP is in cahoots with the BJP or the Congress. Every time, they come up with such frivolous statements. BJP thinks we’re engaging with the Congress, and the Congress thinks the vice-versa.”
The VIF, which is at the centre of the so-called ‘conspiracy’, is a New Delhi-based independent think-tank and is a project of the Vivekanada Kendra in Kanyakumari. The foundation is the brainchild of Doval, who founded in 2009.
“The allegation is absolutely rubbish. VIF is a non-political think-tank that has nothing to do with any political party or organization. We’re affiliated only to Vivekananda Kendra. As far as elevation of the people into the government is concerned, they are of high caliber and one of the best brains in the country,” said K Suresh, senior fellow and editor at VIF.
He added, “We supported the UPA government on Bangladesh land swap deal and diplomat Devyani Khobragade episode. Congress leaders too have attended our seminars, like Shivraj Patil, Kishor Chandra Deo, etc in the recent past.”
“Instead of accusing the AAP or the BJP, the Congress should first introspect. It’s because of them that Delhi and Chirag Dilli have been reduced to such a bad state,” a retired school teacher RP Saini present at the meeting quipped.
Updated Date: Jan 29, 2015 12:13:38 IST