Serious allegations

The Prime Minister has levelled very serious allegations against senior leaders of the Congress party, including the former Vice-President and the former Prime Minister of India. At an election rally in Palanpur in North Gujarat last Sunday, Prime Minister Modi accused the Congress leaders of plotting with Pakistani officials to bring about the BJP’s defeat in the Gujarat elections. This is too serious an allegation to be dismissed as mere poll propaganda. Allegations like this made against US President Donald Trump, of influencing US presidential elections by taking help from Russian President Alexander Putin, were investigated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) because, if true, it would be tantamount to sedition. The Prime Minister’s allegations against Congress leaders, too, if true, amount to sedition.
What is surprising is that the alleged ‘three-hour-long secret meeting’ between Congress leaders and the Pakistanis took place at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence which is a well known address and the meeting was attended by VIPs who are usually under constant watch of Intelligence men. How can such a meeting be called ‘secret’? In any case, it is too serious a charge against senior leaders of a premier political party. It is incumbent on the Government over which Mr Modi presides not only to bring all the facts into the public domain but take appropriate action against those he has named. It is a ‘must’ for the Prime Minister to pursue his allegations to their logical end, Having made the allegations publicly, he has to take follow-up action.
If his Government fails or does not take the initiative to nail the persons against whom allegations of compromising the security of the country with the help of a hostile country have been made, then the Prime Minister should explain to the people what made him level these charges and what was the prima facie evidence he had on the basis of which he had made such a serious allegation. It may be recalled that the BJP president Amit Shah had, during the last Bihar Assembly elections, said that a defeat of the BJP would be ‘celebrated’ in Pakistan. That was more a comment than a specific charge against specific persons. What the Prime Minister said amounted to making a specific charge against some specific persons who were named and who had held important positions in the previous government. This is immensely much more than mere election propaganda and it is the responsibility of the Government to inquire into the veracity of the allegations and take appropriate steps.

Thursday, 14 December, 2017