published by, Deblina Day
Last Update: April 19, 2023, 5:51 pm IST
The Congress on Wednesday slammed External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for accusing former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of politicizing the issue of Indians stranded in Sudan, saying it was a “terrible response” to a “genuine appeal” for help.
The opposition party hit out at the Modi government over the issue, saying the problem with most ministers is that they are so eager to prove their loyalty to “their mentor and be his voice” that they have forgotten that they have done something. Took the oath of responsibilities.
The issue began with Siddaramaiah posting a series of tweets stating that “It is reported that 31 people from Karnataka belonging to the Hakki Pikki tribe are stranded in Sudan troubled by civil war” and that the government is yet to repatriate them. No action has been initiated to bring it back.
The former Karnataka chief minister urged the Prime Minister’s Office, the Union Home Minister’s Office and the Ministry of External Affairs to “immediately intervene” and ensure the safe return of the Indians.
Siddaramaiah also said that ‘Hakki Pikki’ in Sudan are stranded without food for the last few days.
He said that the BJP government should immediately initiate diplomatic discussions and reach out to international agencies to ensure the well-being of Hakki-Pikki.
Jaishankar then hit out at Siddaramaiah and tweeted, “Simply shocked by your tweet! There are lives at stake; Don’t do politics”.
Jaishankar tweeted, “Since the start of the fighting on 14th April, the Indian Embassy in Khartoum is in constant touch with the majority of Indian nationals and PIOs in Sudan.”
“Their details and location cannot be made public due to security reasons. Their movement is constrained by the fierce fighting that is going on,” he said.
Jaishankar said plans regarding them have to take into account the “very complex” security scenario and that the Indian Embassy in Sudan is in constant touch with the Ministry of External Affairs regarding the situation in that country.
“It is grossly irresponsible of you to politicize their situation. No electoral goal justifies endangering Indians abroad.”
Assembly elections are due in Karnataka next month.
Hitting back at Jaishankar, Siddaramaiah said, “Since you are the External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar I have appealed to you for help. If you are too busy being scared then please tell us about the person who can help us get our people back. A former CM with a genuine appeal. I know all too well this level of meanness from a man… who has developed new loyalties and wants to show it in everything he says and does. Ramesh said he would not comment on Jaishankar’s past.
When asked about the heated Twitter exchange between Jaishankar and Siddaramaiah, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “I am very shocked at the reaction that has come. Our leader Siddaramaiah gave him a fitting reply when he said that “if he has turned sinister, he will have to start helping the citizens.” ,
“He (Siddaramaiah) conveyed a message to assist the External Affairs Minister of India to ensure the safe passage of citizens from Karnataka stranded in Sudan, who was so concerned about it. The problem with most of these ministers, who are so eager to prove their loyalty to their masters and be their voice, is that they have forgotten that they are sworn in to some responsibility, they are sworn in to account, Shrinet said.
“It wasn’t about politicizing anything, it was about asking for help. You (Jaishankar) may be helpless, you may be of no use and that is what you are. You have decided to turn on the two-rupee troll, good for you, do what you want to do, ensure the safe return of citizens to India,” he said.
Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary group for the past five days in which nearly 100 people have been killed.
Meanwhile, government sources on Wednesday said that India is closely coordinating with various countries to ensure the safety of Indian nationals in violence-hit Sudan.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)