The Congress's doublespeak

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    The Congress party has a history of doublespeak. To run with the hare and hunt with the hound may be justifiable to some degree in a national party which has to pitch an appeal which cuts across caste, creed and regional divides.

    But the ruling party's recent mixed messages on sensitive and emotive issues like the Batla House encounter, welcoming back Kashmiri militants, resuming the dialogue with Pakistan and the formation of Telangana is simply duplicitous, divisive, damaging to the national fabric and irresponsible.

    A government flip flop, which has left most of us bewildered, is the sudden decision to hold secretary-level talks with Pakistan this month. Just a week before the announcement of talks, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had given an extremely hawkish interview, which is still on the MEA website.

    In London a fortnight back, our Foreign Minister S M Krishna expressed pessimism over the prospects of talks since the Pakistan government has taken no meaningful action against the Pakistan-based perpetrators of the 26/11 attack. In fact, the Pakistan government recently permitted leaders of jihadi groups to stage massive rallies in Muzaffarabad and Lahore where participants vowed that the jihad against India would continue until it hands over Kashmir. To top it all, there was a fresh terror attack in Pune on Saturday.

    Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh's recent trip to Azamgarh also exemplifies the opportunistic tactic of playing both sides. Singh went to Azamgarh merely to give a sympathetic hearing to those questioning the veracity of the Batla House encounter and demanding a fresh probe, even after the National Human Rights Commission gave a clean chit to the police.

    By encouraging suspicions about a genuine crackdown on terrorists, Singh has succeeded in demoralizing the police just days after they had made a fresh arrest in Azamgarh which provided more corroborative evidence in the case. Singh clearly believes that the key to the Muslim vote in the forthcoming UP assembly polls is to pander to false suspicions.

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