Gujarat Polls: Don't Need Advice, Says Centre As Pak Says 'Keep Us Out'

This morning, Islamabad reacted sharply to PM Modi's charge that Pakistan is interfering with the Gujarat election.

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Gujarat Polls: Don't Need Advice, Says Centre As Pak Says 'Keep Us Out'

Gujarat Assembly Election 2017: PM Modi said senior Congress leaders met Pakistan representatives. (File)


Highlights

  1. Pak reacted to PM Modi's charge that it's interfering with Gujarat poll
  2. PM Modi referred to Mani Shankar Aiyar's dinner for Pak officials
  3. Two guests have denied there were talks on Gujarat or domestic politics
Indians are capable of contesting elections on their own, without Pakistan's advice, the ruling BJP said today in a stinging response to Pakistan in the war of words sparked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comments at a rally in Gujarat.

"Narendra Modi and BJP can win elections through people's support. Pakistan must stop giving us advice," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, adding, "We completely abhor any interference. We are proud of our democracy."

This morning, Islamabad reacted sharply to PM Modi's charge that Pakistan is interfering with the Gujarat election. Mr Modi on Sunday had referred to a dinner hosted last week by suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, which featured Pakistani officials, Congress leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former diplomats and senior journalists. A day after the dinner, PM Modi alleged at a rally in Palanpur, Mani Shankar Aiyar made the "neech" comment.

"I ask you, brothers and sisters, why did they have to have a meeting with Pakistani officials. Pakistan is our enemy. You (Congress) meet them and the next day call me 'neech',"said PM Modi. He also remarked: "You are in Pakistan. Why are you interested in our country's affairs?"

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted: ""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 dinner that PM Modi refers to took place last Wednesday at the Delhi home of Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was suspended a day later for his "neech aadmi" slur at PM Modi.

Two guests at the dinner have strongly denied that there was any discussion on Gujarat or domestic politics.

Discussions revolved around India-Pakistan ties, assert former diplomats Chinmaya Garekhan and Satinder Lambah.

Manmohan Singh was present but "did not say a thing", top sources have said.

"It was entirely devoted to talking about relations between India and Pakistan. Inevitably, cross-border terrorism came up and Kashmir came up but no one, I am 100 per cent sure, not a single person talked about either Gujarat elections or the domestic situation in India or for that matter, the domestic situation in Pakistan," Mr Garekhan told NDTV.

Satinder Lambah said: "I don't comment on private dinners. There was just a general discussion on Indo-Pak relations."


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