|India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate: FO responds to Modi's allegations|
India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on [its] own strength rather than [on] fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible, said Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal on Monday.
|Tweet by Dr. Muhammad Faisal|
His comments, shared on Twitter, come a day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that Congress leaders had held a secret meeting with a "Pakistani envoy and foreign minister of the neighbouring country" before Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had called him a “neech aadmi” (vile man).
"You people must have read the newspaper about the incident at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. It was an issue of hot debate in newspapers and media yesterday that a meeting between former Pakistan high commissioner, former minister of external affairs of Pakistan, former vice president Hamid Ansari and former PM Manmohan Singh was held at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. The meeting had run for three hours and the next day he called me "neech" (low-born)," Times of India quoted the prime minister as saying during a poll campaign in Palanpur on Sunday.
"This is an issue of serious concern that when Pakistan has become a sensitive issue for the country, then what was the reason to hold a secret meeting with Pakistan when the polls are being held in Gujarat?" asked Modi.
According to Times of India, Modi had also questioned why a former Pakistan army director general "insisted on making Ahmed Patel, political advisor of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the chief minister of Gujarat".
"Former director general of Pakistan army Arshad Rafiq has insisted that Ahmed Patel should be made CM of Gujarat. Former army director general intervenes in Gujarat election," Modi alleged, according to Times of India. "They held meeting with Pakistanis at Mani Shankar's house and on the very next day of that meeting, Gujarat, backward community of Gujarat, Modi and poor people of Gujarat were insulted. Is it not an issue of concern for the country?"
Last week, Mani Shankar Aiyar was suspended from the primary membership of the party for calling Modi a “neech aadmi”, a remark that the PM claimed was aimed at his humble origins.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had asked Aiyar to apologise, a move that was seen as an attempt to cap the political fallout of the controversial remarks in the first phase of Assembly elections in Gujarat.
Aiyar did apologise for what he called his poor command of Hindi. “I meant low level when I said ‘neech’, I don’t think he is low born...if it has some other meaning then I apologise,” he had said.
Ahead of the 2014 national election also, Aiyar had derided Narendra Modi as a tea seller who could never be Prime Minister.
That comment was seen to have contributed significantly to Mr Modi’s sweep of the general election, NDTV said..