Though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claimed in Parliament that he did not want to “dignify” or give credence to the “speculative, unverified, unverifiable” WikiLeaks cables published by The Hindu, Congress leaders have not hesitated to make full use of those cables which show the Bharatiya Janata Party in a poor light.
Referring to the report in Saturday's edition of The Hindu in which BJP leader Arun Jaitley was quoted by an American embassy official as saying Hindu nationalism was an “opportunistic” issue for the BJP, the Congress said the party's “double-speak” had exposed its true colours again.
Talking to The Hindu here on Sunday, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning Ashwani Kumar said: “The people will, in their innate wisdom, decisively reject the BJP whose ideological bankruptcy stands exposed by the statement attributed to Mr. Jaitley.”
When pointed out that Mr. Jaitley had already gone on record stating that he had not used the phrase “opportunistic” in the conversation with Mr. Blake, Mr. Kumar shot back: “But Mr. Jaitley has not denied the essence of his statement made then. The BJP should know that the political judgment of the people against the party would not be affected by vague denials.”
“The BJP, which claimed it to be a party with a difference, has indeed shown that the difference lies in its scant regard for political morality and intellectual integrity.”
He wondered whether the organisation should be continued to be allowed to “inflict deliberate fraud on the people for the pursuit of power without a core political agenda.” Mr. Ashwani Kumar wanted to know why an agenda (Hindutva) to which the party was not committed was thrust upon the people only to incite passions and thereby garner support.
Another Congress leader – Communications Minister Kapil Sibal – who took pains to defend Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the discussion on the WikiLeaks report vis-à-vis the “cash-for-votes” scam in the Lok Sabha recently, also hit out at Mr. Jaitley. Demanding an apology from Mr. Jaitley for his comment, he said the BJP leader owed an answer to the people why he said so against his own organisation. People wanted to know from senior BJP leader L.K. Advani and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) “what they now think about Mr. Jaitley.” The comments made by a responsible Leader of the Opposition was a “very, very serious issue.”
“For years, we have been speaking about their politics of opportunism. Now, people should also know the real face of the BJP,” Mr. Sibal added.
BJP unmasked: Hooda
Chandigarh Special Correspondent reports:
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said in Rohtak on Sunday that WikiLeaks had exposed the true face of the BJP.
Talking to journalists, Mr. Hooda said Mr. Jaitley's statement made it clear that the party was using “Hindutva” only to garner votes. This corroborated the Congress stand that the BJP was “adopting double standards and that it had nothing to do with the interests of the common people.”