26/11 killer Hafiz Saeed meets Ramdev aide Ved Pratap Vaidik, BJP plays row down

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 15 2014, 14:43pm hrs
In the wake of the row generated by Baba Ramdev aide Ved Pratap Vaidic meeting 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafeez Muhammad Saeed in Pakistan, BJP accused Congress of presenting non-issues as issues before Parliament and giving lessons on patriotism when it had "surrendered" before terrorism and adopted a "soft" approach on the issue.

The ruling party also accused the Congress of doing so as a result of desperation and frustration after its rout in the Lok Sabha elections.

It also questioned Congress for its inaction on Kashmiri separatist Yasin Malik for sitting in a dharna with Saeed in Pakistan on the Afzal Guru hanging issue.

"Congress is raising non-issues and presenting them as issues. Today the Parliament witnessed two such issues. One was related to a journalist's visit to Pakistan in which he is supposed to have met Hafiz Saeed. The other issue pertains to destroying of files," Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is also a BJP spokesperson, said.

"The reality is that Congress knows what it is putting forth is not right. It is desperate to hide its frustration due to the defeat. The Congress is desperate. Its real issue is Leader of Parliament (LoP). When people of the country have rejected it to be in government and also not given it the numbers to get the LoP how can the BJP help," he said.

The minister said the government has already disapproved the visit and the journalist's meeting with Saeed, who is guilty of committing crime in India and is a terrorist.

"Indian government has nothing to do with either the visit or meeting the people there," he said.

Questioning the Congress for its inaction against Malik, he asked, "Why Congress did not take action against Yasin Malik who sat in a dharna with Hafiz Saeed."

Javadekar said it is "ridiculous" that Congress has taken up the issue of the journalists' visit to Pakistan and his meeting with Saeed.

"Those taking such soft approach towards Saeed and had "surrendered" before terrorism now want to teach us lessons on patriotism. This is not done," he said while also reminding the Congress of its inaction when the separatists went to Rawalpindi from PoK without a visa.

"Why they were silent when Yasin Malik fasted with Hafiz Saeed. Congress must answer. They have no moral right to ask any question," he said.

On Congress raising the issue of files, Javadekar said the list of files to be destroyed in each ministry was prepared by the UPA.

"It is a routine continuous administrative reforms process in which non essential files after a certain periodicity are destroyed," he said.

Referring to former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's statements, he said, "It is not our fault. Congress should not forget its minister was saying Hafiz Sahib and Osama ji."

Javadekar said now the Congress is "exposed" in Rajya Sabha even during the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill when Congress members opposed Jairam Ramesh.