Soon after suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar made the derogatory “neech” comment against PM Modi, he seems to have emerged as a top target on BJP’s radar.
First a BJP leader named Ajay Aggarwal alleged that on 6th December a meeting had taken place at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence where Pakistan envoy, Former PM Manmohan Singh, Former VP Hamid Ansari & some Congress leaders were present. He then floated a conspiracy theory by pointing out that the very next day Aiyar made his neech comment against the PM.
PM Modi too picked it up and alleged the same on Sunday, during his campaign rally in Palanpur, Gujarat:
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: PM pic.twitter.com/2KPmZF8BLa
— BJP (@BJP4India) December 10, 2017
As per other reports, he also alleged that there was a Pakistani hand in the current Gujarat elections.
Since the allegations, PM Modi has come under fire from not just the Congress but also from Pakistani officials:
India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible.
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) December 11, 2017
As seen above, the spokesperson of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, possibly too hurriedly brushed off PM Modi’s allegations as ‘fabricated conspiracies’. The Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala too termed the allegations as baseless and claimed that the PM is worried, dejected, angry.
The congress terming PM Modi as worried might amuse a few people, considering its own leaders have started to allege EVM tampering even before the polling in Gujarat is complete.
Now, media reports have emerged which might clear the air regarding this matter. Reports say that the dinner meeting was held on December 6 at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence in Delhi during the visit of Pakistan’s former foreign affairs minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri to India. Kasuri attended a talk hosted by Ananta Centre, a Delhi-based think-tank, on the subject, ‘The Current State of India-Pakistan Relations’, the very next day.
Other attendants of this meeting are reported to be Army chief Deepak Kapoor, former foreign minister K Natwar Singh, and former diplomats Salman Haidar, TCA Raghavan, Sharat Sabharwal, K Shankar Bajpai and Chinmaya Gharekhan. The report further states that General Kapoor confirmed he was part of the meeting at Aiyar’s residence. “Yes, I was part of the meeting and we discussed nothing more than India-Pakistan relations,” Kapoor told The Indian Express.
The report also quoted former army chief Deepak Kapoor who claimed that the meeting only contained discussions pertaining to Indo-Pak relations, thereby indirectly denying PM Modi’s allegations of an election conspiracy. This is probably not the end of this controversy.