Cong disowns link between Gujarat,IM

Shakeel remark: Jaitley says attention being diverted to avoid issues related to governance

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 23, 2013 4:02 am

A day after Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed blamed the 2002 post-Godhra riots for the creation of terror group Indian Mujahideen,the Congress Monday disapproved his conclusion and distanced itself from his assessment.

Ahmed,on his part,said his statement had been hyped by the media while the BJP charged the Congress of trying to communalise the election discourse to deflect attention away from issues of governance.

“It is not the party line as of now,” Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said when asked about Ahmed’s tweet on Sunday.

Minister of State for Home,R P N Singh feigned ignorance and said,“Shakeel Ahmed should answer for himself. I’m not aware what he said and I have not read his tweet”.

The stance by the ruling party came as its vice-president Rahul Gandhi told spokespersons from across the country attending a national workshop that leaders should speak in one voice and shed negative politics.

At the same time,the spokespersons were also told by the leadership to aggressively use social media platforms to counter the BJP and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Ahmed maintained that the controversy had taken him by surprise. “No sane person can justify terror acts of IM or any other outfit. I simply mentioned NIA’s version in its chargesheet highlighted by media… Surprised by the hype in media on my tweet of 21st July regarding NIA’s chargesheet,” he tweeted.

But BJP leader Arun Jaitley alleged that Ahmed’s remark was part of a political design by the congress.

“Faced with both the crisis of governance and a lack of leadership,the UPA’s desperate strategy appears to be to deflect the agenda. Under no circumstances must the destruction of ‘The India story’ by the UPA be allowed to occupy the centrestage of the electoral agenda. The UPA has therefore only one option left. Communalise the polity in the country and change the electoral agenda,” Jaitley said in a signed statement issued to the media.

In this context,Jaitley cautioned all opposition parties,including his own,to not fall for this attempt to deflect attention and suggested there was a need to remain focused on what he called is the UPA’s misgovernance.

“All those who want to throw the UPA out of office must understand that their focus must remain on the issues of governance which the UPA will try to duck,” Jaitley suggested. He sought to substantiate his argument by saying the Congress was concentrating its attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,the CBI was being silent on the alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba terror links of Ishrat Jahan and the weekend statement about Indian Mujahideen by Ahmed.

Jaitley said Ahmed’s remark was “yet another desperate attempt to communalise” issues in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.

“Pakistan wanted to create an organisation which appeared to be Indian and have a lot of Indian operatives. The bomb-making techniques and the financing came from across the border. Its Indian credentials gave Pakistan a scope for deniability every time a terrorist attack took place,” Jaitley said,attacking Ahmed for what he called an attempt to “re-write” this narrative by trying to “paint the Indian Mujahideen as an organization of the aggrieved who are victims of riots in Gujarat”.

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