More from WikiLeaks
The BJP has been hit by a fresh gust of WikiLeaks revelations with leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley being quoted as having termed Hindu nationalism an “opportunistic issue”. The website had earlier revealed L K Advani’s assurances to the US that the nuclear deal will not be renegotiated. In cables dating to May 2005, a senior US diplomat said, “Pressed on the question of Hindutva, Jaitley argued that Hindu nationalism ‘will always be a talking point’ for the BJP. However, he characterized this as an opportunistic issue.” Jaitley denied use of the word “opportunistic”. “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,” the BJP leader said.
Having demanded that the government explain references in a WikiLeaks cable about an aide of Congress MP and Gandhi family loyalist Satish Sharma showing cases of money meant to bribe MPs ahead of UPA-I’s July 2009 trust vote, BJP finds it difficult to shrug off uncomfortable references to its leaders. This is the second occasion that the BJP has suffered a blow back on WikiLeaks. Advani’s frank comment—just a day before the May 2009 election result-—that contrary to the party’s public position, the India-US nuclear would not be renegotiated if the National Democratic Alliance came to power came in very handy for the Congress while debating the Satish Sharma cable in Parliament. The cable elaborates that Jaitley sees Hindutva as an issue that waxes and wanes in keeping with current political situations. He explains that “in India’s north-east, for instance, Hindutva plays well because of public anxiety about illegal migration of Muslims from Bangladesh”. But he says improved Indo-Pak ties makes it less potent elsewhere. “With the recent improvement of India-Pak 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 said.