Government denies links to Vaidik-Saeed meet
The Indian government declared Tuesday that it had nothing to do with a meeting yoga guru Ramdev's aide Ved Pratap Vaidik had with Pakistani terrorist leader Hafiz Saeed.
"Categorically and unequivocally, through your medium, I would like to state that the government has nothing to do with Vaidik's trip to Pakistan or his meeting with Hafiz Saeed there," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha.
"Neither before going to Pakistan nor after reaching there did he (Vaidik) inform us that he is meeting Saeed... It was purely a private trip and a personal meeting.
"And here, to blame that he went as someone's emissary or that the government facilitated the meet is untrue, baseless and unfortunate," she added.
Earlier, as soon as the Lok Sabha met, Congress members started shouting slogans demanding an explanation from the government on the meeting between Vaidik, a well-known journalist, and Saeed.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked the opposition to give a notice for a discussion and refused to suspend the question hour.
Amid the din, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the government was ready to discuss the matter.
Following this, the Lok Sabha was adjourned for around 20 minutes.
The 69-year-old Vaidik's meeting with Saeed has sparked a major row with the Congress seeking to pin down the Narendra Modi government by asking if Vaidik went as an official emissary.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has distanced itself from Vaidik and said it considers Saeed, accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, a terrorist.
(Posted on 15-07-2014)