Congress appeared to be in a dilemma on how to react to WikiLeaks release which says Rahul Gandhi had told U.S. ambassador Timothy Roemer that the growth of “radicalised Hindu groups” could pose a bigger threat to India than activities of groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“We will respond to it after verifying the facts...
There is no reason to react in an excited manner. The issue should first be looked into and verified,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvti told reporters in response to repeated questions on the issue.
Asked what is there to doubt in the issue, the Congress spokesperson remarked, “I am not questioning anything and I am questioning everything“.
To a question on whether what he says indicates that the party is distancing itself from Mr. Gandhi’s remarks, Mr. Singhvi said, “The question does not arise. It is your interpretation.”
“Let us verify the truth,” was the refrain of party general secretary Janardan Diwedi when asked about his reaction to the WikiLeaks release.
Mr. Dwivedi had earlier suspected a conspiracy behind the the release of WikiLeaks cable saying, “Let us verify the truth. May be there is some conspiracy behind the pattern with which this all is being done.”
According to a secret U.S. diplomatic cable from New Delhi released by WikiLeaks, at a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence in July 2009, the Congress General Secretary was asked by the U.S. ambassador about LeT’s activities in the region and immediate threat to India.
“Mr. Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community,” the cable notes.
“However, Mr. Gandhi warned, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community,” it says.
The opposition BJP has reacted sharply to Mr. Gandhi’s remarks and said, “In one stroke”, he has given a “big leverage” to the propaganda of all terror groups in Pakistan.
BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said, “It is irresponsible. It is in the public domain and the US government has neither denied nor confirmed it. Therefore, it has sanctity.”
“In one stroke, Rahul Gandhi has sought to give a big leverage to the propaganda of all terror groups operating from Pakistan and certain segments of the Pakistan establishment,” he told reporters here.
Mr. Prasad said such remarks impinge upon India’s strategic security and fight against terrorism.
Mr. Singhvi, however, dismissed BJP’s criticism over the issue saying, “This is not at all surprising as BJP keeps on levelling such allegations. We will say anything only after verifying the facts”.