New Delhi: Under attack from the Congress for its failure to yet again designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the government fielded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for its defence who alleged that the original mistake, not only on Kashmir but also on China, was committed by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Jaitley's remarks came soon after the Congress blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign policy vis-a-vis China for the latter yet again blocking the bid to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)'s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
"The original mistake, both on Kashmir and China, was committed by the same person," Jaitley said in a tweet.
Referring to India's first Prime Minister's "infamous" letter to chief ministers dated August 2, 1955, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said it was Nehru who said India taking China's place in the United Nation's Security Council (UNSC) would be "very unfair for a great country like China".
"Will the Congress President tell us who the original sinner was?" he asked.
Jaitley quoted Nehru as saying in the letter: "Informal suggestions have been made by the United States that China should be taken into the United Nations but not in the Security Council, and that India should take her place in the Security Council. ...we cannot, of course, accept this as it means falling out with China and it would be very unfair for a great country like China not to be in the Security Council."
Earlier, with China for the fourth time putting on hold the proposal against Azhar in the UN Security Council, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said it is a major setback for the global fight against terrorism and "reaffirms Chinese position of being an inseparable ally of terrorism's breeding ground Pakistan".
Blaming Modi, he said: "The present situation also arises out of failure of a weak-kneed Modi government, bending over backwards before China over last 5 years, which has culminated into the present state of things where the Chinese have blocked Masood Azhar's declaration as an 'international terrorist', without any reason and only to please its ally Pakistan."
The Congress asked if Modi would answer why he became "Maun Modi" (silent) as India's interests are repeatedly being compromised.