Congress members shouted slogans in the well of the House Thursday, seeking to join issue with the treasury benches as Home Minister Rajnath Singh charged the previous UPA regime with a deep conspiracy to implicate Narendra Modi in the Ishrat Jahan case when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
He was responding to a calling attention motion moved by Nishikant Dubey, Satyapal Singh, Anurag Thakur and Kirit Somaiya of the BJP and Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the Lok Sabha.
The UPA, according to Singh, had indulged in a “flip-flop” regarding Ishrat’s LeT links and vowed never to do so when it came to fighting terror.
“Unfortunately, I have to say that there was a flip-flop by the UPA government in the Ishrat Jahan case,” he said, while referring to the change of affidavits, allegedly at the behest of the then home minister P Chidambaram.
Singh also attacked his predecessor, saying that he even gave a colour to terror by devising the term “saffron terror”.
He said, “Colour, creed and religion should not be associated with terrorism. Terror has no colour… The secularists gave a colour to terrorism. A selective and opportunistic secularism cannot be accepted by the country.”
He said the statement given by Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley before a Mumbai court only reaffirmed the first affidavit filed by the UPA government on August 6, 2009, before the Gujarat High Court that Ishrat had links with the LeT. “It was the second clear indication that she was a terrorist”, he added. The second affidavit filed by the government before the HC on September 29, 2009, in his view, had weakened the point that she was an LeT operative.
The Home Minister claimed that there was an effort to defame Modi. “There was a deep conspiracy to frame him,” he said and maintained that certain vital documents, including two letters written by then Home Secretary G K Pillai to then Attorney-General Ghoolam E Vahanvati and the copy of the draft affidavit, were untraceable. “We have ordered an internal enquiry in the Home Ministry in this regard and necessary action will be taken accordingly,” he said.
The minister said, in his written response, that notings on the file did not mention any reason for filing the second affidavit. He said, “It has been mentioned in the affidavit that the further affidavit was being made in view of subsequent developments in relation to the issues connected with the petition and to clarify apprehensions expressed in regard to the (first) affidavit filed by Union of India as well as refute attempts to misinterpret portions of the affidavit.”