Staff Reporter, BeyondHeadlines
New Delhi: Hindu nationalism will always remain a “talking point” for the main opposition Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). However, this is just an “opportunistic issue.”
According to the latest WikiLeaks cable, accessed by The Hindu, Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in the upper house of Parliament, told Robert Blake, the charge at the US Embassy, on May 6, 2005: “Hindu nationalism will always be a talking point for the BJP.” However, Jaitley characterized this as an “opportunistic issue” for the party, according to the cable.
He also warned the US Embassy that the “Modi controversy continues to fester among the party rank and file, who see the chief minister’s visa revocation as a personal attack on a leader of the party that began the transformation of US-India relations.”
The Modi issue aside, the BJP leader was upbeat on U.S.-India relations, “emphasizing that ties with the U.S. were no longer a point of controversy in the Indian politics.”
According to the cable, which describes him as “one of several aspirants to direct the next generation of the BJP leadership” on succeeding the rein of the party, Jaitley said: “LK Advani would lead for another two to three years, after which one of five next generation leaders (Jaitley among them) would take the reins.”
Jaitley, who is also a senior Supreme Court lawyer, has issued a statement clarifying: “The Cable reflects my views on cross-border terrorism, illegal infiltration from Bangladesh and the unfair denial of US Visa to the Gujarat chief minister. 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.”