“It's a wrong interpretation,” BJP president Nitin Gadkari said on Sunday, referring to the WikiLeaks expose that party leader Arun Jaitley had told a U.S. diplomat in 2005 that Hindu nationalism was an opportunistic issue for the party.

“It's a wrong interpretation of the Hindutva issue. Arun Jaitley is a committed leader and such words [‘opportunistic issue'] will never come from his mouth,” Mr. Gadkari told a news conference here.

“I spoke to Arunji and he denied having said it.”

Cash-for-votes scam

Asked whether it was not double standards on the part of the BJP in taking on the Congress based on WikiLeaks reports, Mr. Gadkari said the cables on the Congress revealed the names of MPs who had been bribed for the 2008 trust vote sought by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while the reference to Mr. Jaitley was a case of wrong interpretation.

Asked about the WikiLeaks cable accusing certain Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MPs of being involved in a cash-for-votes row (the BJP shares power with the JMM in the State), Mr. Gadkari said: “Anybody getting involved in such offence is guilty. The Congress is guilty in the cash-for-votes issue. And going by your question, the Congress has no right to be in the government at the Centre.”

Mr. Gadkari said: “I firmly believe that the Congress has always put pressure on Opposition leaders luring them with money or using the CBI to exert pressure on them, disgracing democratic values.”

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