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Cong. leaders speak in different voices on Debbie Abrahams

Shashi Tharoor. File photo: Sandeep Saxena

Shashi Tharoor. File photo: Sandeep Saxena  

While Singhvi backed the British MP’s deportation, Tharoor slammed the govt. for the decision

Congress leaders spoke in different voices over the deportation of British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams, with party MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Tuesday backing the government move and describing the British lawmaker as a ‘Pakistan proxy’.

On Monday, Indian authorities denied entry to Ms. Abrahams, a Labour Party MP who heads a British parliamentary group on Kashmir, on her arrival at the Delhi airport. Officials claimed that the British lawmaker was informed in advance about the cancellation of her e-visa.

“The deportation of Debbie Abrahams by India was indeed necessary, as she is not just an MP, but a Pak proxy known for her clasp with Pak government and ISI. Every attempt that tries to attack India’s sovereignty must be thwarted,” Mr. Singhvi tweeted.

His comments stood out in sharp contrast with those made by his party colleagues Shashi Tharoor and Gaurav Gogoi.

“British MP Who Criticised Govt on J&K Stopped At Airport: conduct really unworthy of a democracy &guaranteed to give us a far worse press than if she had been admitted. Govt claims situation is normal in Kashmir. Why is the govt then so scared of critics?” Mr. Tharoor tweeted on Monday.

Pointing out that he found it ironic that some of the people who applauded him for going to Britain as an Indian MP and telling them about their colonial misbehaviour were now attacking him for wanting India to grant a visa to the British MP, Mr. Tharoor wrote, “If we can dish it out, we should be able to take it.”

“I rather have the Government of India take a consistent position instead of selective red carpet treatment. Taking foreign ambassadors on shikhara rides while denying Member of Parliament to travel seems childish. We should have the maturity to welcome support and criticism,” Mr. Gogoi tweeted.

Cautious stand

At the official briefing, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh, however, took a cautious line and maintained that the government should first officially state the reason why Ms. Abrahams was denied entry before the party commented on the decision.

Mr. Tharoor too downplayed his difference with Mr. Singhvi’s tweet. “My friend @DrAMSinghvi is welcome to disagree with me. Happy to inform @ThePrintIndiathat’s how democracy works: honestly-held views can differ on different issues. Glad @INCIndia is a democratic party,” he tweeted in response to a report in an online portal.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 12:20:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cong-leaders-speak-in-different-voices-on-debbie-abrahams/article30854113.ece

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