On Jaishankar vs Siddaramaiah, Jairam Ramesh says, ‘Man I have known so…’

Apr 19, 2023 11:20 AM IST

Jairam Ramesh called out Jaishankar and said he has developed new loyalties and is keen to prove that.

Foreign minister Jaishankar's curt reply to Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah's tweet on Sudan started a BJP versus Congress on social media. In his tweet expressing concern over the plight of people from Karnataka stuck in Sudan clashes, Siddaramaiah tagged the PMO, the Home Minister's office, the MEA and Karnataka chief minister Bommai. Jaishankar posted a reply saying that this is not an issue to be politicised ahead of the Karnataka election. Siddaramaiah said he tagged Jaishankar because he is the external affairs minister. Reacting to Jaishankar's reaction that he was appalled, Siddaramaiah said, "If you are busy getting appalled please point us to the person who can help us bring our people back."

Jaishankar and Siddaramaiah's to-and-fro over Sudan crisis is the newest political controversy.
Jaishankar and Siddaramaiah's to-and-fro over Sudan crisis is the newest political controversy.

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As this became a flashpoint, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said Jaishankar's response is 'most appalling to Siddramaiah's genuine appeal. "This level of nastiness from a man I have known so very well...who has developed new loyalties and who wants to show that in whatever he says and does. I am tightlipped (smiley) on his past," Jairam Ramesh wrote.

What Siddaramaiah tweeted

"It is reported that 31 people from Karnataka belonging to Hakki Pikki tribe, are stranded in Sudan which is troubled by civil war. I urge @PMOIndia @narendramodi,@HMOIndia,@MEAIndia and @BSBommai to immediately intervene & ensure their safe return. Hakki Pikkis in Sudan are left stranded without food since the last few days & the govt is yet to initiate action to bring them back. @BJP4India govt should immediately open diplomatic discussions & reach out to international agencies to ensure the well-being of Hakki Pikkis.It is also unfortunate to know that we have lost one Indian & 60 others in the ongoing civil war in Sudan. My deepest condolences to their families and pray for the peace in the region."

What Jaishankar tweeted

"Simply appalled at your tweet! There are lives at stake; don’t do politics. Since the fighting started on April 14th, the Embassy of India in Khartoum has been continuously in touch with most Indian Nationals and PIOs in Sudan. Their details and locations cannot be made public for security reasons. Their movement is constrained by fierce fighting that is ongoing. Plans regarding them have to take into account a very complicated security scenario. The Embassy is in constant touch with the Ministry in that regard. It is grossly irresponsible of you to politicize their situation. No electoral goal justifies endangering Indians abroad."

What is the row?

BJP and Congress leaders stepped up attacks on each other over the issue ahead of the Karnataka assembly election. Siddaramaiah did not take Jaishankar's reply kindly either. "Since you are the External Affairs Minister@DrSJaishankar I have appealed you for help. If you are busy getting appalled please point us to the person who can help us bring our people back," he tweeted.

"MEA @DrSJaishankar reprimanding Siddaramaih for his irresponsible politics serves as reminder to all who Siddaramaiah - the politician, really is. One must not compromise core Kannada interests in lieu of electoral gains. This divide & rule mindset has no place in #NewIndia," Bengaluru MP Tejasvi Surya said.

"While the former CM’s boss politicised the Pulwama attack, it is no surprise that the former CM has taken a cue from him to politicise an ongoing international conflict assuming it would give him electoral success in the upcoming election in Karnataka," Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai said.

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