The comments made by Aiyar and Khurshid are highly objectionable and anti-national, said Prakash Javadekar.
Mani Shankar Aiyar
Escalating its attack against Mani Shankar Aiyar over his controversial remarks in Pakistani media, BJP on Wednesday called it ‘treason’ and demanded an apology from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Prakash Javadekar, who also hit out at former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid for criticising the NDA government for adopting a tough stand towards Pakistan, said Congress should take strong action against the two leaders for their “seditious” and “anti-national” remarks.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The comments made by Aiyar and Khurshid are highly objectionable and anti-national. Going to a foreign country and calling upon the people to overthrow a democratically elected PM is nothing but sedition.”Congress party should condemn these remarks and take strongest possible action against these two people. They are not ordinary people to be brushed aside. They were ex-ministers and spokesmen of the Congress party. This shows the level of the frustration of the party and its leaders,” Naidu told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.He said the remarks by Congress leaders are “disgusting” for any patriotic and nationalist Indian. “Aiyar’s attempt is clearly aimed at de-stabilizing the democratically elected government led by Shri Modi. To say so on a foreign soil is even worse and amounts to clear act of treason,” he said in a statement later.Javadekar wondered if the opposition party approved of their remarks and demanded Gandhi’s apology. “Does Congress approve of Aiyar’s remarks? If the two leaders are not forthcoming, then the Congress president should apologise. Being the chief of the party she should take responsibility and apologise,” he told reporters at party headquarters.”The way Khurshid and Aiyar are singing paeans of Pakistan and denigrating the Prime Minister’s office is unacceptable.”They are playing with the sentiments of the people who are seeing their action as a betrayal of the country. They are free to disagree with us in India but not on foreign soil,” he said.Aiyar sparked a controversy by reportedly saying, during a panel discussion on a Pakistani news channel, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to be removed if talks between the two nations have to resume. His comments have evoked sharp reactions. Khurshid had criticised the NDA government for adopting a tough stand towards Pakistan.While Khurshid served in various capacities including as External Affairs Minister in UPA government, Aiyar was a Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and then Panchayati Raj Minister.Countering Congress’ criticism of its handling of Kashmir issue and Pakistan, Naidu asked, “If it is so simple for the Congress, they should explain to the people in the last 50 years why they have not resolved the Kashmir issue through peace dialogue.”Why they have not successfully stopped Pakistan from supporting these terrorist organisations. Congress must exhibit its sincerity by taking action against these two people.” Hitting out at Aiyar and Khurshid for their controversial comments, BJP had yesterday said that they were trying to gain lost ground “by visiting ISI headquarters” which is an “insult to India and its nationalist Muslims”. Javadekar also accused Congress of practising the “worst” kind of diplomacy, pointing out to the Sharm-el Sheikh joint statement of India-Pakistan during the UPA tenure in which a reference to Balochistan was made.He also termed as “highly communal” the comments of Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed in which he had allegedly linked action against Chhota Rajan and Anup Chetia to their religion. “Congress looks for religion in every possible action, even in crimes. This is their policy,” he said. Naidu said Khurshid went to the extent of praising Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as a visionary and peace loving person.”Congress party should come clean in this regard and take necessary action against Shri Aiyar and Shri Khurshid for talking in support of Pakistan and its leadership and denigrating the Indian Government and Prime Minister,” he said. He accused the Congress of creating the Kashmir tangle saying it was the contribution of the opposition party and its leadership.”It was during Congress rule that part of Kashmir was occupied by Pakistan. Congress was in power at Centre for so many years. It should now explain why the Kashmir issue was not resolved and peace was not restored between India and Pakistan all these years,” he said.The Union Minister added that it is now widely established that the Pakistan leadership is “a puppet of self-serving military establishment and non state terrorist organizations. Aiding, abetting, funding and training terrorists is their policy.”He said the Pakistani leadership has all these years demonstrated a flip-flop approach towards improving relations with India and resolving contentious issues.”Senior Congress leaders speaking in defence of such leadership in Pakistan is a clear evidence of their anti national philosophy for which they deserve to be strongly punished by their party. Congress leadership cannot keep mum on such disturbing tendencies within their party,” Naidu said.