New Delhi, 16 July-2014, Zee Media Bureau: As the controversy over Ved Pratap Vaidik and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed’s meet continues, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar has added fuel to the fire by saying that the senior journalist is a nationalist.
Expressing his views on the ongoing row over Vaidik-Saeed meet, Kumar asserted that Vaidik is a nationalist, cultural person and whatever he did was for the good of the nation.
Kumar’s comments are sure to give fresh ammunition to the Congress-led Opposition which has left no stone unturned to corner the BJP-led government over the contentious issue in Parliament.
Kumar’s reaction comes amidst huge political uproar across the nation. The Congress has accused Narendra Modi government of facilitating the Vaidik-Saeed meet.
Trying to corner the NDA government, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has said the party was “curious” to know whether the meeting between Vaidik and 26/11 mastermind was facilitated by the Indian embassy in Pakistan. The High Commission has denied extending any such help.
Besides the High Commission, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have also cleared the government’s stand on the issue, saying it had nothing to do with the meeting.
However, the BJP said that though they condemn the meeting, they will not take steps which would be synonymous to curtailing press freedom.
Meanwhile, BJP ally Shiv Sena has mounted pressure on the Modi government to act against Vaidik for meeting Saeed and said the Centre cannot just shrug off its responsibility in the matter.
“Just saying that the government has nothing to do with the meeting won’t suffice. Had it been a Congress government and any journalist would have met Hafiz or Dawood Ibrahim, BJP would have attacked the government,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
Baba Ramdev’s close aide Vaidik on Sunday courted a controversy after his picture with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed was released.
Vaidik, a freelance journalist, had met Saeed in Lahore on July 2 while touring Pakistan along with a group of journalists and politicians who had been invited by a peace research institute.