Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on behalf of her party, on Monday said that the BJP wanted answers from not just former Home Minister P Chidambaram but also Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi over the Ishrat Jahan case.
This comes after a media report claimed that Mr. Chidambaram, the then Home Minister, had signed the first affidavit in the encounter case stating that Jahan was both a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative and part of a plot to assassinate the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. “You underplayed a terror plot that could eliminate [Prime Minister Modi]. You are clearly admitting that you cannot fight this politically. So eliminate or allow to eliminate or encourage elimination of the leader who you are mortified of fighting politically,” she said in a strongly worded statement.
She said it proved that the Congress wanted to project Prime Minister Modi as being against “some sections of the population… as if there is no terror threat against him.” “They wanted to quietly watch the terror plot bloom to eliminate a political opponent… a very serious fallout is the way this country's intelligence and counter-intelligence have been weakened,” Ms. Sitharaman said. She said the matter would be raised in Parliament, set to reconvene on April 25.
The Congress questioned the authenticity of the document that was being cited by a TV channel and the BJP, with senior party leader Shakeel Ahmed accusing the BJP government at the Centre of “planting false stories” in the media. “The question is not whether Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist or not. The question is that whether she was killed in a genuine or a fake encounter,” he said. “The Modi government is trying to divert the attention from the fact that she was killed in a fake encounter. The court has established this, not only one court, but lower court, High Court, and a CBI enquiry monitored by the high court,” Mr. Shakeel said.