The BJP Friday again tried to link former Vice President Hamid Ansari with a Pakistani journalist by producing a photograph of them on the same stage at a conference in India, prompting Ansari to reiterate his stance that he neither knew nor invited the person in question.
The journalist, Nusrat Mirza, had claimed in a YouTube interview that he visited India five times during the UPA rule and passed on sensitive information to his country’s spy agency, ISI.
At a press conference Friday, BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia showed a purported picture of Ansari sharing a stage with Mirza at a 2009 conference on terrorism held in India.
People holding constitutional posts should act responsibly and should have not shared the stage with Mirza, Bhatia said.
He had earlier alleged that Mirza had visited India on Ansari’s invitation and met him.
In the YouTube interview, Mirza makes two passing mentions of Ansari, but does not say he had any conversation with the then Vice President.
Ansari had dismissed Bhatia’s claims as a “litany of falsehood”.
His office on Friday said: “The former Vice President of India stands by his earlier statement that he never knew or invited Pakistan journalist Nusrat Mirza to any conference, including the 2010 conference mentioned by Nusrat Mirza or 2009 conference on terrorism or on any other occasion.”
Bhatia Friday also attacked the Congress, saying intelligence clearance is required for holding such programmes and inviting dignitaries from abroad.