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Thursday 23 January 2020

Rahul must explain his remark on ‘Hindu terror’: BJP

Ahmedabad: With the Gujarat polls less than two weeks away, the BJP today raked up the issue of an old US diplomatic cable which allegedly quoted Rahul Gandhi as saying that “Hindu terror is a bigger threat” in India than the Pakistan-based LeT, and sought his explanation.

Addressing a press conference here, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad referred to the cable which was leaked by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks and subsequently published in some newspapers in 2010.

Prasad said Gandhi should be “ashamed of linking” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat, when he spoke about “polarising figures in the BJP” during his purported conversation with a US diplomat.

“In 2010, two years after the (26/11) Mumbai terror attack, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on India tour. At the lunch organised for then prime minister Manmohan Singh, US Ambassador Timothy Roemer was sitting next to Rahul Gandhi and asked the Congress leader what he thinks about the LeT,” Prasad said.

“In his response, Rahul told Roemer that forget LeT, it is the Hindu terror of this country which is a bigger threat.

The US envoy Roemer sent this conversation as a cable to his country. Later, that cable was leaked and published by London-based The Guardian newspaper,” the minister said.

Referring to the purported communication, Prasad said, the US envoy even wrote that the Congress General Secretary (Rahul Gandhi) was referring to the tensions created by some of the more polarising figures in the BJP such as Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

“This is the level of the Congress and Rahul. It was indeed shameful that he tried to link Modi with it. We demand an explanation from Rahul on this. He should be ashamed of himself as he thinks that LeT is less dangerous that Hindu saffron terror. And now, he is visiting temples in Gujarat,” the BJP leader said.

Prasad’s diatribe came a day after the prime minister accused the Congress vice president of applauding the release of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, and asked why he hugged the Chinese ambassador during the Dokalam standoff.

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