New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday upped the ante against Government over journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik`s meeting with Hafiz Saeed with Rahul Gandhi asking whether the Indian embassy facilitated this for the "RSS man"and the party asking BJP to clear the "lurking suspicion" around the event.
"The question is did the Indian embassy facilitate the gentleman (Vaidik) or not. We are curious to find out if Indian embassy has facilitated this event.
"If they helped this gentleman in any way. That`s what we are curious about," the Congress Vice President told reporters here.
Replying to a question about Vaidik, he said "Yes, he is an RSS man. That`s a known fact".
At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said he was "intrigued by the trail of revelations" that are coming out on a daily basis regarding the event more so as Vaidik while being a columnist was also the "spokesperson of a Yoga Guru, who was the ideological Guru of the BJP`s PM candidate and carried out that party`s propaganda" in the run-up to the polls.
"Now a new revelation comes that Indian High Commission in Pakistan knew about the meeting with Saeed and Vaidik...There are successive revelations that are leading to the trail of unsolved mysteries and is leading to lurking suspicion in people`s mind whether Vaidik went to meet Saeed as a journalist on his own or he was sent on behalf of somebody in the government," the Congress spokesperson said.
Surjewala added, "If that is so, it is indeed serious. Government needs to seriously clarify the meeting of Vaidik with Saeed and his comments about Kashmir were an independent opinion of a journalist or whether it is part of some new policy. Is it something else? Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj should make a statement regarding it in both Houses."
A row has erupted over the meeting of Vaidik, considered close to yoga guru Ramdev, with Saeed. The journalist, has, however rejected suggestions made by Congress that he might have acted as government`s envoy.
Vaidik had met the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, said to be the parent organisation of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, in Lahore on July 2 while touring Pakistan along with a group of journalists and politicians invited by a peace research institute.
Congress had yesterday targeted the Prime Minister`s Office over the meeting alleging its "direct involvement" and asked the government to "come clean" on the issue. The issue has also had its echo in Parliament.
Surjewala today wondered if the Indian High Commission knew about the meeting, could it not have forewarned Vaidik against it.