Uttar Pradesh allies Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav have attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending a letter to Pakistan PM Imran Khan on the country's national day, saying it should have been written after taking permission from people of the country.
PM Modi, sources said, wrote a message to Mr Khan that it was time for people of the subcontinent to work together "for a peaceful and prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence".
"One one hand, to get votes, several types of heated comments and stern public stand, on other hand a secret congratulatory letter to Pak PM. Is it right that PM Shri Narendra Modi is playing the game of deceit with 130 crore people of the country? An appeal to the public-- beware," Mayawati tweeted in Hindi.
Akhilesh Yadav was quick to support his alliance partner. "This letter should have been written after taking permission from 130 crore countrymen," he tweeted.
Tensions between the two countries have been heightened after the terror attack last month in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama which 40 Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF soldiers were killed. The attack had been claimed by Pak-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed which is led by Masood Azhar.
India then carried out "non-military, pre-emptive" air strikes on a Jaish terror training camp in Pakistan's Balakot. A day later, when Pakistan targeted Indian military establishments, the two countries engaged in aerial combat for the first time in nearly 50 years. Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistan after his MiG-21 fighter was shot down; he returned to India after two days in Pakistani captivity.
The Congress has also taken a swipe at PM Modi for the secret letter.
"Mr 56" of the Sari-Shawl-Impromptu Pak visit for Birthday-ISI invite fame diplomacy was feeling very shy yesterday. Guess? Chowkidar hid the fact that he had wished Pak PM on Pak National Day without a word on Pak terrorism. Muscular politics soap opera for people and media only," party leader Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.
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