Shatrughan Sinha, the BJP's in-house critic, on Monday waded into a controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stunning allegation that "Pakistan is interfering in the Gujarat election" and opposition Congress leaders met with Pakistani officials at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house a day before the suspended Congress veteran made the "Neech" comment against the PM.
In tweets this morning, Shatrughan Sinha said: "Hon'ble Sir! Just to win elections anyhow, and that too at the fag end of the process, is it a must to come up with & endorse new, unsubstantiated & unbelievable stories everyday against political opponents?"
The tweets did not name or tag anybody but the actor-turned-politician - who has never held back on his critique of the BJP's leadership, including the PM - did not leave much room for doubt.
At a public meeting on Sunday in Gujarat, where campaigning for the state election has been acrimonious and aggressive, PM Modi had raised questions about an alleged appeal by a retired Pakistani general, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made the chief minister of Gujarat.
"(On one hand) Pakistan Army's former DG is interfering in Gujarat's election, on the other, Pakistani people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. After that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don't you think such events raise doubts?" PM Modi said at the rally in Palanpur, referring to Mani Shankar Aiyar calling him "neech aadmi".
Pakistan today reacted to the Prime Minister's charge saying: "India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible."
The Congress also denied the allegations and said there were no discussions on domestic politics at the event at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house, where former prime minister Manmohan Singh was also present.
"Rather than calumny If @narendramodi & @AmitShah have the gumption let them openly say that a gentleman who was PM of India for 10 yrs & another gentleman who was Vice President of India for A decade were conspiring with Pak to influence Gujarat elections. Otherwise apologise ASAP," tweeted Congress leader Manish Tewari.