A war of words broke out between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress over the release of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar after Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval was instrumental in releasing the JeM chief as part of negotiations in the 1999 Kandahar hijacking incident.
Hours after the scathing attack by the Congress, the party on Tuesday, March 12, cited a 2010 interview of NSA Ajit Doval to claim that he blamed the then BJP-led government for releasing JeM chief Masood Azhar two decades ago and gave a "clean chit" to the terrorist.
Taking to Twitter, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "Modi government's NSA, Ajit Doval, ''spills the beans'' and indicts BJP government in the release of a terrorist, Masood Azhar. Doval said (in the interview), "Releasing Masood Azhar was a political decision."
Surjewala also highlighted a portion of Doval's interview in which he is quoted as saying:" Masood Azhar doesn't know how to fabricate an IED. Neither he is a marksman". "Jammu and Kashmir's tourism has improved by 200 per cent after Masood Azhar's release," Doval said.
RAHUL GANDHI LOVES TERRORISTS: BJP
Earlier on Monday, Rahul Gandhi was in the eye of a controversy after he referred to JeM chief Masood Azhar as 'Masood Azharji'. In a video that has been doing the rounds on social media, Gandhi attacked the BJP, saying, "These people with 56-inch chest, you would recall, in their previous government, the current NSA Ajit Doval went in an aircraft with Masood Azhar ji and handed over Masood Azhar there in Kandahar." The hashtag #Rahullovesterrorists was trending across Twitter ever since he made the comment.
CONGRESS HITS BACK
On Monday after Ravi Shankar Prasad criticised Rahul Gandhi for calling Masood Azhar "ji" and tweeting, "Come on Rahul Gandhi Ji! Earlier it was the likes of Digvijay Ji who called Osama Ji and Hafiz Saeed Sahab. Now you are saying, Masood Azhar Ji. What is happening to Congress Party?", the Congress had fished out a video of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying something similar.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi shared a video of Ravi Shankar Prasad referring to terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed as "Hafiz ji". In the video, Ravi Shankar Prasad can be heard saying that they had recorded a statement by "Hafiz ji".
Hope this finds pride of place in BJP‘s revamped website,as& when it returns. BJP‘s admiration of Hafeez Saeed&his ilk. Also reminds us how they sent their special emissary to Pak,Ved P Vaidik, to have a dialogue with him&hug him. Hugplomacy began from there. #BJPLovesTerrorists pic.twitter.com/A75LHFg1eG— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) March 12, 2019
Sharing the video with the hashtag, #BJPLovesTerrorists, Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote, "Hope this finds pride of place in BJP's revamped website, as and when it returns."
In a separate tweet on Saturday, March 9, Rahul Gandhi had shared a photo of NSA's Ajit Doval walking behind Jaish chief Masood Azhar.