A new episode of secret documents released by Wikileaks reports that Rahul Gandhi told US ambassador to India Timothy Roemer that “the growth of radicalised Hindu groups” was a “growing concern.
The new lot of leaked documents also reveals United States diplomats questioning Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s leadership abilities and describiug CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat as an “extortionist” (see graphics).
The cables are from the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. David Mulford was the US ambassador till early 2008 when Roemer took charge.
Reacting to the leaked documents, Congress spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi said, “Rahul Gandhi’s view is that terrorism and communalism of all types are a threat to India. We need to remain vigilant.”
The BJP attacked Rahul. “At one stroke he gave legitimacy to the propaganda of Pakistani terror groups — which have been saying the same thing — against India,” chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The Congress and BJP are already locked in a war of words on the question of terror groups suspected to be patronised by extremist Hindu elements.
While the BJP was quick to accept the Wikileaks version in order to slam the Congress, the documents also make references to how the party was influenced by the US. At one place, it says the BJP “softened its opposition to the (nuclear) agreement, in part, due to the ambassador’s meetings with BJP leaders”. The cables also state that though the US was careful not to be seen as interfering in the country’s domestic politics, it was doing everything to persuade parties to support the nuclear agreement.
The BJP, which had taken a strident public posturing against the deal, had mellowed subsequently. While the Congress dismissed the rest of the revelations as “interpretations of individuals”, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said the documents proved what “everyone knew”.
“The US embassy in Delhi was trying to influence domestic politics,” said Karat.
The US embassy in Delhi refused to comment while the ministry of external affairs stuck to its standard response that it would react only after the entire documents were out in the public domain.