BJP dubs Digvijay Singh’s ISI barb at it ‘divisive, shameful’; seeks Sonia’s apology


New Delhi: Hitting out at Congress leader Digvijay Singh for alleging a link between the BJP and Pakistani spy agency ISI, the saffron party on Monday dubbed his charge “shameful and condemnable” and sought an apology from his party’s president Sonia Gandhi.

Singh had claimed on Saturday that the BJP and Bajrang Dal, a hardline Hindutva organisation, took money from ISI and also alleged that non-Muslims spied for the Pakistani agency more than Muslims.

At a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Congress of trying to polarise the society on communal lines, and termed Singh one of the “navaratna” (nine gems) of the Congress who have played a key role in its massive defeat in elections.

“What he has said is of concern, shameful and condemnable. It is against the country and is divisive. It shows his distorted mindset,” he said.

In reality, Congress leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sam Pitroda, Salman Khurshid, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury besides Singh, are the “navaratna” of Pakistan and it would be proud of them, Patra said.

What they say make headlines in Pakistan and is used by that country to attack India, he said referring to Gandhi’s attack on the Centre over “violence” and “people dying” in Kashmir, remarks that were used by the neighbouring country in its petition in the United Nations.

For Digvijay Singh to level such a serious allegation against India’s ruling party is a very serious matter, the BJP spokesperson said and demanded that Sonia Gandhi respond to it and apologise.

“These Congress leaders do not know as to when they cross the limit and begin targeting India in venting their hate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

Patra cited a number of comments made by opposition party’s leaders to attack it for its “anti-Hindu philosophy”. He wondered how Singh knows about the religion of people working for ISI.

To a question about the Madhya Pradesh police arresting several people for allegedly spying for Pakistan when the saffron party was in power in the state, Patra said the BJP is all for taking against those working against India, but the issue should not be communalised or politicised.

About Singh’s claim that his remarks were being distorted and that he had not alleged BJP’s link with ISI, the BJP leader said the video of him making the comments is available.

He also accused the Congress of working towards delaying the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

With Pakistan agreeing to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, Patra said it is a “victory of justice” and shows that “Modi hai to mumkin hai”.

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. Weeks later, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and to challenge the death sentence.

In its verdict in the case on July 17, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to undertake an “effective” review of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and asked it to grant consular access to him without further delay. (PTI)