Jaitley dismisses Wikileaks expose


New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley Saturday trashed a US embassy cable, released by Wikileaks, in which an American diplomat purportedly wrote that Jaitley had remarked during a meeting that Hindu nationalism was an “opportunistic” issue.

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Jaitley maintained that he had not used the term “opportunistic” in reference to Hindu nationalism and that it was “neither my view nor my language”.

The cable from the charge d’affaires at the US embassy here to Washington on the diplomat’s meeting with the BJP leader on May 6, 2005, had said: “Pressed on the question of Hindutva, Jaitley argued that Hindu nationalism ‘will always be a talking point’ for the BJP. However, he characterised this as an opportunistic issue.”

It also said that in India’s northeast, for instance, Hindutva played well because of public anxiety about illegal migration of Muslims from Bangladesh.

“With the recent improvement of India-Pakistan relations, he (Jaitley) added, Hindu nationalism is now less resonant in New Delhi, but that could change with another cross-border terrorist attack, for instance on the Indian Parliament,” the cable, accessed by The Hindu, said.

Jaitley, in a statement, said the cable reflected his views on cross-border terrorism, illegal infiltration from Bangladesh and the unfair denial of US visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

“However, the use of the word ‘opportunistic’ in reference to nationalism or Hindu nationalism is neither my view nor my language. It could be the diplomat’s own usage,” he said.

But the Congress was unwilling to spare the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, who had attacked the Manmohan Singh government over alleged pay-offs during the July 2008 confidence vote.

“Chickens are coming to roost, what goes out wrongly hits back like a boomerang. People living in glass houses are taught in this manner if they were to throw stones at others,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

An earlier American diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks had stated that BJP would not review the Indo-US civil nuclear deal if it returned to power.