The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday hit back at Rahul Gandhi for his “failed hugplomacy” jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the release of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, saying the Congress Vice President should stand with the country and not with the mastermind of the Mumbai massacre. “Rahul baba, Aadte nahi badli (Habits have not changed). For once, stand with the country and not with Terrorists as is your habit. You are a known sympathiser of LeT. WikiLeaks and Ishrat Jahan case cover-up exposed your links. By the way have you congratulated your ‘Hafeez Saheb’ on his release yet,” BJP spokesperson G.V.L Narsimha Rao said in a tweet. Accusing the Congress of showing sympathy with Pakistan, the BJP leader said “Congress Ka Haath, Aatankivadiyon ke Saath” would be a more appropriate slogan for the grand old party. “While Manmohan Singh’s government treated Pakistan as a victim state and let it off lightly, Narendra Modi has succeeded in isolating and cornering Pakistan as terroristan not just in the region but globally and in all international fora like the UN, G20, BRICS, ASEAN etc,” Rao said.
He said that the Congress and Rahul Gandhi have repeatedly betrayed the country by pandering to anti-India elements. “The manner in which they questioned the surgical strikes against the terror launch pads across the LoC and the utterly disgraceful attacks against the army chief as a ‘Street thug (Sadak Ka Goonda)’ and Rahul Gandhi’s joining the groups shouting “Bharat ki barbaadi” slogans are symptomatic of Congress party’s support for anti-India sentiments. “The statements of Congress leaders eulogising and praising Burhan Wani and their solidarity for separatists clearly show their sympathies for pro-Pakistan elements. It is a tragedy that a party which ruled India for six decades has compromised with the terrorist groups that have bled India for the sake of appeasing a minority vote bank. They have abused Hindu religion with terms like Hindu Terror and Saffron terror for appeasing minorities. In no other country, terror is politicised as the Congress sought to do in power,” he said in a statement.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the Prime Minister and termed the latter’s relationship with US President Donald Trump as failed “hugplomacy”. “Narendrabhai, baat nahi bani (this is not done). Terror mastermind is free. President Trump just delinked Pak military funding from LeT. Hugplomacy fail. More hugs urgently needed,” Gandhi tweeted on Saturday morning.
On Friday, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, accused of masterminding the 26/11 Mumbai massacre in 2008, was freed after 10 months of house arrest in Pakistan. Earlier this month, the US Congress also passed a bill which dropped action against the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as a condition for Pakistan to receive hundreds of millions of dollars.