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EVERYTHING IS FAIR IN ELECTION WAR

Rahul Gandhi has claimed that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI is in touch with Muzaffarnagar riot victims. A report appeared in The Economic Times says that the paper approached three officials and found that they have not come across any such input.

TIMELINE

"Neither the home ministry nor Intelligence Bureau (IB) has shared any such input with us. We are completely unaware of this."
- Mukul Goel, ADG [law & order], Uttar Pradesh
In addition to the above official, The Economic Times also quotes a senior ministry functionary: "I have not come across any such file."
Addressing a rally in Indore Rahul Gandhi had said an intelligence officer had told him that Pakistani intelligence agencies had approached youngster in Muzaffarnagar after riots.
"There are 10 to 15 such Mussalman boys whose brothers and sisters were killed in the riots and who were approached by Pakistani agencies."
- Rahul Gandhi, Vice President, Congress Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde too looked reserved on this statement: "I do not want to comment on the issue."

Centre STAGE

"Rahul Gandhi is an MP too. Intelligence officials have to be in touch with everybody.
- Former IB official
Raising question marks on why intelligence agencies were briefing Rahul Gandhi, Modi said:
"Shehzada is only an MP. How come Indian intelligence agencies are sharing information with a person who is not sworn to secrecy? How come Indian intelligence agencies are sharing their report to provide inputs for election speeches?"
- Narendra Modi, BJP's Prime Ministerial Candidate
"On one hand, the Home Minister writes to states to release innocent Muslims languishing in jails and take action against officers who arrested them and, on the other, the party's vice-president quotes an unnamed IB officer, raising suspicion about Muslims. Seems like he is playing the Hindu card."
- Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam, Jama Masjid, Delhi
Referring to the '84 riots Modi said that Rahul's utterances are "insult to the injury" of Sikhs.
"I heard him speaking about the anger over the assassination of his grandmother. All Congressmen felt angry and isn't it true that they burnt thousands of Sikhs? I want to ask shehzada whether he felt the same anger over the killing of thousands of Sikhs."
- Narendra Modi, BJP's Prime Ministerial Candidate
And, here is a report in The Indian Express titled - SP salts victims' wounds, says relief camp better than home - says: "The additional facilities that they are receiving in the relief camps is also a reason for them to not go back to their homes."

BOTTOMLINE

Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's statement BJP national spokesman Prakash Javadekar had also raised Q-mark over the controversial briefing:
"In what capacity is the IB briefing Rahul Gandhi He is just an MP (Member of Parliament), we are MPs too. He is a party office bearer, we are party office bearers too. IB does not brief our party bearers, how can they brief him. He is not the Prime Minister or a Home Minister."
- Prakash Javadekar, BJP Spokesman  
So, do you think such a briefing is a serious issue? Here is an expert opinion.
"Rahul Gandhi is an MP too. Intelligence officials have to be in touch with everybody. It is, however, not clear in what circumstances he was briefed by an IB official - whether it was a formal meeting or simply a casual conversation."
- Arun Bhagat, Former IB chief
Most of the political parties have set up war rooms for election campaign. They are treating it like a war. And if so, everything is 'fair' in 'war'. So, why there is hue and cry on Rahul Gandhi's speeches?
Afterall, he has to secure votes for Congress, despite his failure in earlier efforts.

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