As BJP slams Nehru over 'China veto', Swamy targets Vajpayee

Nehru, Vajpayee, Swamy (From left to right) A collage of Jawaharlal Nehru, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Subramanian Swamy

You can trust Subramanian Swamy to slam rivals of the BJP and also take jibes at senior leaders of the saffron party... often at the same time, as Finance Ministry Arun Jaitley, a regular target of Swamy, has learnt.

On Thursday and Friday, Swamy, a Rajya Sabha MP, took to Twitter to criticise policies of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the BJP's first prime minister. Swamy's tweets came amid outrage over China vetoing at the UN Security Council a proposal to declare Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist.

Responding to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's claim Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scared of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the BJP's Twitter handle noted, “China wouldn't be in UNSC had your great grandfather not 'gifted' it to them at India’s cost. India is undoing all mistakes of your family. Be assured that India will win the fight against terror. Leave it to PM Modi while you keep cosying up with the Chinese envoys secretly.”

Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Jaitley even asked the Congress who was the “original sinner” over the issue of China's veto at the Security Council, referring to Nehru allegedly declining the US “offer” of a seat in the council.

On Friday, Swamy referred to the policies of both Nehru and Vajpayee on Tibet. Swamy tweeted, “While criticising Nehru justifiably for signing a treaty to hand to China Tibet in 1954 let us not forget Vajpayee signed a similar treaty with China accepting dividing Tibet into 4 and merging three with neighbouring Chinese states.”

In 1954, Nehru recognised Tibet as an autonomous region of China, a policy that his successors, till Vajpayee, followed. During a visit to Beijing in 2003, Vajpayee announced India had recognised Tibet as part of China's territory.

In a tweet on Thursday, Swamy had blamed Vajpayee and Nehru for past policies. Swamy brought up the release of jailed terrorists, including Azhar, in return for hostages in the IC-814 hijacking by the Vajpayee government in 1999 and Nehru's policies on China and his decision to take the Kashmir issue to the UN.

“The cost of freeing Azhar in 1999 is now haunting us. The cost of gifting UNSC seat to China in 1950 is haunting us today. The cost of filing an illegal petition in UN on J&K is bleeding us everyday. Learn to introspect before blaming others. There are no free lunches,” Swamy tweeted.

Despite being an unabashed supporter of Hindutva issues, Swamy has stood out for his disdain for Vajpayee. Their relationship was perceived to be hostile for decades, with Swamy often accusing Vajpayee of sabotaging his prospects in the Janata Party government, which assumed office in 1977.

Ahead of the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, Swamy alleged Vajpayee had got a Rs 6 crore kickback in US dollars from Enron for reviving the Dabhol power project. He also produced his old allegation that Vajpayee was a British collaborator during the freedom struggle.

Swamy played a key role in facilitating efforts by the Congress to get AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa to vote against the Vajpayee government in a vote of confidence in April 1999. The Vajpayee government lost by one vote.