New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has alleged that senior Congress leaders held a meeting with Pakistan’s former foreign minister and High Commissioner to India at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence a day before he made the “neech” comment. This is not the first time that BJP invoked the 'P word' in domestic politics. In the last fifteen years, Pakistan has creeped into the campaign rhetoric many a times.
Five years ago, when Modi was seeking a third term as Gujarat Chief Minister, he wrote a letter to Manmohan Singh. Modi claimed that during his tours to the coastal districts of Kutch and Saurashtra, and North Gujarat, he had discovered 'a genuine fear among the people regarding safety and security of Gujarat… I'm writing to you at this juncture because a decision on this issue is being taken...if Government of India agrees to hand over Sir Creek to Pakistan.'
Sir Creek is a 96 km tidal estuary in Gujarat bordering Pakistan. Modi went on to talk about this issue in his campaign speeches as well.
The then PMO wasted little in time responding to Modi's allegations. “The contents of the letter and the timing of its release to the public, even before it was formally received in this office...raise questions about the motives behind its issue. The writing and release of this baseless letter by the Chief Minister of Gujarat in his ‘personal’ capacity, a day before elections in the State, is mischievous.”
In the same elections, held nearly a year after the 26/11 terror strikes, posters about Pakistan's involved in terror surfaced across Gujarat as a reminder to voters.
Rewind to 15 December, 2002. The first elections after the communal strife in the state. Then CM Modi, while addressing a rally in Ahmedabad raised the Pakistan spectre by talking at length about "Mian Musharraf," while talking about Gujarat's 'asmita' being under threat.
In 2014 general elections, Modi again raised the issue of Pak terror links to hit out at his rivals in domestic politics.
"Three AKs have emerged as a unique strength for Pakistan. One is AK-47 which has been used to cause bloodshed in Kashmir. The second is AK Antony, who informs Parliament that people wearing the dress of Pak army beheaded our soldiers while our Army says Pakistanis had come. The Third 'AK' was an perhaps an allusion to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,” he had said.