Free Press Journal

Visa row: Digvijay taunts Modi’s ‘good relations’ with Sharif


Digvijay Singh

New Delhi:Reprimanding the Pakistan High Commission for denying visa to Anupam Kher, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Wednesday taunted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said the actor should have been granted a visa to attend the Karachi Literature Fest despite his personal views.

“He should have been granted a visa, especially when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is having good relationship with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif,” said Singh.

He, however, said if no application was made for the issuance of a visa then it would be unfair to blame anyone.

However, Pakistan finally complied by offering him a visa to Karachi but the actor has turned down the offer.

Also read: Silence of ‘pseudo secular’ on Kher’s visa denial shameful: BJP

“Thank you Mr. @abasitpak1 for your call & offering me visa to visit Karachi. I appreciate it. Unfortunately i’ve given away those dates now,” Kher tweeted.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, earlier reiterated that Kher did not submit his documents like other participants, which is why he was denied the visa to attend the Karachi Literature Festival.

“I know Anupam Kher sahab. He is a great artist and we have great respect for him. But as it is universal practice, visa request is processed when visa application is received, not on the basis of an invitation letter from a visiting country,” Basit told ANI here.

“We wish that his office had submitted his visa documents as other participants did and got their visa on time. No visa application was submitted to us,” he added.

However, Kher flatly refused the claims and said that the Pakistan High Commission was lying.

“I am not angry with anyone. I am hurt and saddened…the organiser of the Karachi lit fest said that the government officials told her not to invite Anupam Kher. I don’t know why? I would request the Government of India to take up this matter (with Pakistan),” Kher told the media.

Meanwhile, the Congress leader dubbed Prime Minister Modi’s diatribe on the UPA’s flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA) programme as the double standards of the ruling NDA.

“Even as the Prime Minister said so, his Finance Minister lauds it. Even MNREGA advertisements bear his photos, where the NDA is taking advantage of its successful implementation. It’s NDA’s double standard,” he said.

The Prime Minister was earlier critical of the MNREGA, saying it was a proof of the Congress-led UPA’s failures.

“I will ensure MNREGA is never discontinued. It is proof of your failings. After so many years of being in power, all you were able to deliver is for a poor man to dig ditches a few days a month,” he said in Parliament.