BJP says that it has escalated the matter and will take the issue to the people.
The BJP will make Rahul Gandhi’s “controversial” foreign connections a major issue right up to the Lok Sabha elections. Sources within the BJP told The Sunday Guardian that they would expose Rahul Gandhi and the Congress’ links to “anti-nationals” ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP says that Rahul Gandhi’s associations during his recent 10-day-long US visit will be made into a poll issue.
A senior BJP functionary alleged to this newspaper, “Rahul Gandhi leaves no opportunity to humiliate India on foreign soil, we have seen it during his visit to the UK and we have again seen during his visit to the US. His US visit has exposed his dubious links.”
Sources in the BJP say that they have already “escalated” the matter and that they are going to take this issue to the people in the run-up to the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, making people aware how “dangerous” and “anti-national” the Congress party is.
“We have already released photographs of Rahul Gandhi’s association with people who work against the interests of India. We have also shown how Rahul Gandhi is sharing space with radicals who have links allegedly even with the ISI in Pakistan. Why does he go to foreign soil to hobnob with anti-nationals? We want the Congress party to come clean on this,” another BJP leader told this newspaper.
BJP sources also indicated that the issue would likely be raised during the Parliament session.
Earlier last week, Union Minister Smriti Irani accused Rahul Gandhi of hobnobbing with people in the US who want to destabilise India and a democratically elected government in India.
Speaking to reporters, Smriti Irani alleged, “The question that has been left unanswered by the Congress party is: Is it true that Rahul Gandhi met Sunita Vishwanath during his trip to the US?… When it is clear to every Indian what George Soros intends to do, why is Rahul Gandhi hobnobbing with those who are funded by Soros? It is also evident that this is not the only Soros connection. Even in Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka, the global vice president of the Open Society Foundation funded by George Soros, was accompanying Rahul Gandhi. What is extremely distressing is the link with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). Those in the public domain who will research how the registration process for NRI interaction with Rahul Gandhi in New York ensued will find the contact of Tazeem Ansari—he has an organisational link with Jamaat-e-Islami…”
Sunita Vishwanath is associated with George Soros, who is allegedly invested into organisations and institutions that are used to spread propaganda against India.
The involvement of two organisations—Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)—both of which are well known arms of the Pakistani deep state is causing concerns even with the security agencies. The agencies are wondering if any background check was done of people who were allowed to rub shoulders with Rahul Gandhi.
Both these organisations, apart from being used by Islamabad, are also put into effect by other Western agencies to corner and damage India’s soft-power by raising fictitious issues, including that of minorities being unsafe in India.
IAMC is headed by Rasheed Ahmed, who was executive director (2008-17) of Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA). IMANA’s Director of Operations, Zahid Mahmood, is an ex-Pakistan Navy official. IAMC had engaged lobbying firm Fidelis Government Relations (FGR) to lobby against India in Washington, DC.
ICNA played a crucial role in blocking the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States in 2005.
ICNA’s alleged connection with Hizbul Mujahideen founder Syed Salahuddin has been the subject of several reports. In 2016, ICNA generated several headlines after it felicitated Motiur Rahman Nizami, the leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Al-Badr, who was responsible for the mass genocide of Bengali intellectuals during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.