The Telegraph
Saturday , May 24 , 2014
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Cong sees Modi ‘duplicity’ on Pak, CAG

New Delhi, May 23: From Nawaz Sharif to CAG reports, the Congress today launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi even before he has taken oath as Prime Minister.

The party questioned Modi’s enthusiasm in breaking tradition to invite leaders of neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, for his swearing-in, and termed as “duplicity and opportunism” his appeal to not use CAG reports as political fodder.

It also cautioned the incoming government against any hasty and unplanned negotiation with Pakistan.

At the party’s official briefing, Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said: “Modi said CAG reports shouldn’t be used in political warfare. This thought after disrupting Parliament and maligning the Congress-led government for five years is a sign of duplicity.

“Nothing can be more hypocritical. The BJP continuously disrupted Parliament and entire sessions were washed out because of ruckus on CAG reports about 2G spectrum and coal. Now Modi is showing double standards as he fears harsh reports about his regime in Gujarat are coming.”

He claimed that Modi and other BJP leaders stressed on CAG reports and the presumptive losses in the coal and 2G scams throughout their campaign and changed their tune after the results. “Indian democracy will remember this hypocrisy,” he said.

The Congress also wondered why invitations were sent to heads of states for the swearing-in, although it reiterated the need for friendly relations with neighbours.

Ahmed said: “There is no precedent for such invitations. We have no issue if Modi called them only for a good photo opportunity but we warn the government not to hold any serious negotiation with the Pakistan Prime Minister.

“Manmohan Singh did not go to Pakistan and the Pakistan Prime Minister or President were not invited by our government as there was no evidence to show they were working to dismantle terror infrastructure. Pakistan promised not to allow its soil for anti-India activities but kept violating this promise.”

Many senior Congress leaders wondered how the BJP would have reacted had a Congress government invited the Pakistan Prime Minister for the swearing-in and claimed they would have begun a nation-wide agitation.

Former minister Shashi Tharoor asked Modi to be cautious while dealing with Pakistan as that country’s involvement in terror attacks could not be ruled out.

“It is one more reminder that there are people in the government of Pakistan who are unable or unwilling to exercise control over the elements on their soil who conduct terror attacks against India or Indian interests, whether in India or Afghanistan,” Tharoor said.

“We urge Narendra Modi to bear in mind that earlier Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus trip to Lahore, and right after four months, the Kargil incident happened. And, therefore, we should not allow history to repeat itself as some fundamental national interests remain unchanged no matter whosoever is in power.”

Taking a dig at Modi, he added: “Now that he has invited Nawaz Sharif, I hope he will serve him chicken biryani too.”

Congress leader Anil Shastri claimed: “Modi has invited these leaders for his own personal legitimacy. Small countries do this to seek endorsement. India is too big a democracy to require endorsement. Modi wants personal endorsement. Is he not satisfied with the mandate he has been given by the people of India?”