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Congress, BJP trade barbs over Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘hugplomacy’

Rahul’s tweet on 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s release provokes BJP to call Congress leader terror sympathiser.

Published: 25th November 2017 11:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2017 10:54 AM   |  A+A-

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has a selfie taken with children at Dehgam in Gandhinagar district on Saturday | PTI

NEW DELHI: Political rhetoric hit a new low on Saturday with a BJP leader alleging that Rahul Gandhi was sympathising with terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) after the Congress vice-president suggested that Narendra Modi should solicit more hugs from US President Donald Trump.

The ‘Óffice of RG’ Twitter handle identified with Rahul Gandhi posted earlier : “Narendrabhai, baat nahi bani (claims did not  materialise). Terror mastermind is free. President Trump just delinked Pak military funding from LeT. Hugplomacy fail. More hugs urgently needed.” (sic). It was a reference to the release this week of Hafiz Saeed, the Jamat-ud-Dawa chief in Pakistan, alleged to be the mastermind of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Today is the eve of the tragedy’s anniversary.

The handle also tagged a news report that said that the US Congress had approved a bill de-linking the insurgent Haqqani network from the LeT. In effect, the US was continuing with sanctions against the Haqqani network but not against the LeT in Afghanistan.

Rahul was also taking a dig at Modi who is frequently pictured embracing world leaders in tight hugs, his trademark personal touch to diplomacy.

The ruling NDA has been claiming that the tough stand of the government against terror outfits is being appreciated by world leaders and that Pakistan was being isolated for its state-support to militants.
Responding to Rahul’s remarks, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao turned the debate acerbic. “Rahul baba, aadten nahi badley haen (Rahulbaba, habits haven’t changed).

For once stand with the country and not with terrorists as is your habit. You’re a known sympathiser of LeT. WikiLeaks and Ishrat Jehan case cover-up exposed your links. BTW (by the way) have you congratulated your Hafeez Saheb on his release,” Rao tweeted to Gandhi. He also sent a copy of  the tweet in a statement to journalists.

The war of words between leaders of the Congress and BJP is getting bitter in this season of the Gujarat Assembly polls.

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