Bengaluru: Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday clarified that he had declined to participate in the India-China Friendship Association-Karnataka’s (ICFA-K) seminar, and expressed surprise over his name still appearing on the event’s invitation, after it drew flak from the BJP.
The invitation for “Seminar on Taiwan”, with the topic, “Interference of US imperialist in the internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China” and Chinese photographic exhibition, bore the former Chief Minister’s name as chief guest, along with other Congress leaders.
The likes of BJP National General Secretary C T Ravi, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha National Secretary Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga and Hindutva ideologue Chakravarty Sulibele, among others had earlier Saturday criticised the Congress, for Siddaramaiah and its other leaders participating in the event.
However, following the controversy, the seminar that was scheduled for Sunday at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, stands cancelled, but the photo exhibition will continue as scheduled, ICFA-K General Secretary V Bhaskaran said.
“I had declined the invitation of India-China Friendship Association to participate in their event which will be held tomorrow. It is surprising to see my name despite declining it,” Siddaramaiah tweeted with a cropped invitation.
“I declined to participate as my party’s and my position are against the agenda of the programme,” he added.
Names of other Congress leaders like former Minister H C Mahadevappa were mentioned as guest of honour in the invite and Rajya Sabha Member L Hanumanthaiah and former Minister P G R Sindhia, who are marked as speakers, have also tweeted that they too had declined to participate in the event, stating that its agenda was against their position.
The invite mentions Sindhia as ICFA national President, and Kolar MLA K Srinivas Gowda, who was recently expelled from JD(S) and has openly expressed his willingness to join the Congress, as ICFA-K President.
According to the invite, Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to India, and Kong Xianhua Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Mumbai, were to participate in the event.
Ravi in a tweet said, “If anyone had any doubt that CONgress works for China, this will clear their doubt. Why should CONgress side with China if America is interfering in its internal affairs? Is this MoU signed by Rahul Gandhi with Chinese Communist Party the reason behind this support to China? Bagga in a tweet called Congress “China’s agent”.
“We saw secret meeting pics of Rahul Gandhi with China Envoys in the past but this is new and huge. Congress is China’s Agent it’s official now. You can understand now why Congress always target Indian Army, why support tukde-tukde gang, Batla House terrorists and Anti- Nationals,” he said.
While Sulibele in a tweet said, “Take a bow @siddaramaiah avare. Protesting against America for their interference in China’s internal matters?! Wah. You never protested when China poke it’s nose into Indian affairs. Great leadership.” Following Siddaramaiah’s clarification, he tweeted and said, “Finally @siddaramaiah avaru clarified his stand after everyone tweeting against him. But why he cropped the invitation? Just to hide that the rest guests are from @INCIndia? What is the party’s position then? Pro China? Anti India? Please clarify…”