Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused his predecessor Manmohan Singh of colluding with Pakistan, both of them met with folded hands – sending a message that all is well beyond election campaigns. Both Modi and Singh met outside the Parliament while moving into the House to pay tribute to the martyrs who had lost their lives in the 2001 Parliament attack carried out by Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba. Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi was also all smiles while meeting Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sushma Swaraj outside the Parliament. (See pics below)
The 2001 attack by LeT targeted the seat of Indian Democracy – the Parliament. As many as six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel and a gardener were killed in the attack, while five terrorists were also gunned down. The attack had then increased tensions between India and Pakistan, also leading to a standoff.
During the Gujarat assembly election campaign, Pakistan’s alleged interference in the polls became news after some media reports revealed details of a recent meeting among Pakistani officials and Indian leaders, including ex-PM Manmohan Singh, at the residence of suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar. More so, PM Modi also added fuel to the fire by talking about the media report and casting doubt over the purpose for which the meeting was held.
At a rally in Gujarat, Modi had raised a political storm three days ago, saying, “Why is Pakistan interfering in 2017 Gujarat Polls? Ex-Pak Army DG had said Ahmed Patel should be made CM,” Modi further said senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had held “secret” meetings with Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi.
Asking for the reason behind the meeting, Modi said, “The same Mani Shankar Aiyar, who insulted Gujarat, held secret meetings with Pakistan High Commissioner. What was the reason? Why are people who previously held high posts in military-intelligence establishment of Pakistan writing that we should help make Ahmed Patel the CM?”
Pakistan surprisingly reacted to Modi’s claim, saying India should fight its internal elections on its not not by dragging the neighbouring country.
In his speech, PM Modi had also claimed that the meeting was attended by former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh. “There were media reports yesterday about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. It was attended by Pakistan’s high commissioner, Pakistan’s former foreign minister, India’s former vice president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh,” he added.
Singh himself later confirmed that the meeting had taken place at Aiyar’s house. However, Gujarat election was not discussed in the meeting that was also attended by a former Indian Army chief. Singh also issued a full-page stinging reply to Modi, accusing him of spreading “falsehood” and canards”
“I am deeply pained and anguished by the falsehood and canards being spread to score political points in a lost cause by none less than Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi. Fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat, desperation of Prime Minister to hurl every abuse and latch on to every straw is palpable. Sadly& regrettably, Sh Modi is setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of a Former Prime Minister and Army Chief,” Singh wrote.