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Friday, March 24, 2023

Congress ecosystem defence ‘expert’, Col. Ajai Shukla, floats new conspiracy theory – “ISI carried out attack to get Modi re-elected”

In a series of tweets, controversial defence analyst Col. Ajai Shukla (retd) has floated a new conspiracy theory about the Pulwama attacks, claiming that ‘Pakistan Army & ISI carried out the attack to get Modi re-elected’ as Modi in power would ‘weaken India’ more than ever and also strengthen Pakistan Army’s position in its own country.

This marks a new low, even by Lutyens’ standards. It comes days after another anti-Hindu abusive liberal and Congress supporter Sanjukta Basu had floated her own theory of Pulwama being an ‘inside job’ by PM Modi to reap votes on the ‘nationalist’ plank in coming elections.

So, the Congress ecosystem is desperately trying to spin conspiracies at both end of the spectrum – one group saying that it was an ‘inside job’ by Modi, and the other group now claiming that ISI carried out the attack to benefit Modi.

Of course, all this is being done while the more ‘neutral’ left-liberals in media desperately spin the ‘Kashmir students under attack’ & ‘why did Indian cricket-loving Adil Ahmad Dar become a terrorist’ narrative, to shift focus away from the pain the entire nation is suffering after the death of 44 soldiers.

Interestingly, while Col. Ajai Shukla has chosen to spin a reckless & dangerous conspiracy theory around the Pulwama attack, he had attacked PM Modi during the 2017 Gujarat assembly election, after Modi warned Pakistan not to meddle in elections, referring to a Facebook post by former director general of the Pakistan army Sardar Arshad Rafiq, saying that senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel should be the next Gujarat chief minister. This is what Shukla had said back then –

“Boggles the imagination that anyone can say a conspiracy with Pakistan was at play”

Incidentally, in 2015 senior Congress leader and ex-IFS officer Mani Shankar Iyer had requested for Pakistan’s help to ‘remove Modi‘ and bring Congress back to power, while speaking to a Pakistani TV channel. In 2018, while attending the Karachi literature festival, Iyer stated he was proud that Pakistan had accepted the ‘need for uninterrupted and uninterruptable dialogue while India had not’.

Who is Col. Ajai Shukla?

A retired Colonel of Indian Army, Ajai Shukla has been a constant face in Lutyens’ cricles as a ‘defense and security expert’ who is associated with media outlets like Business Standard, NDTV etc.

He is a graduate of Jawaharlal Nehru University and has a post-graduate degree from the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London. He is also part of foreign think-tanks – for eg., he was the Spring 2016 Visiting Fellow at Centre for Advanced Study of India, USA.

His anti-BJP stance is quite evident from his writings & appearances on TV debates, but he has often crossed the line into conduct not usually associated with a retired Army officer –

  • Complicit in spreading fake news that Gen. (retd) V K Singh touched Amit Shah’s feet.
  • Part of a group of 51 ‘prominent’ personalities including known #BreakingIndia figures like John Dayal, Teesta Setalvad, Prashant Bhushan, Prof. Nivedita Menon etc, who urged the government not to deport illegal Rohingya immigrants from Bharat, overlooking the obvious security risks and the fact that Bharat is already grappling with a massive influx of Bangladeshi immigrants.
  • He has acquired a dubious reputation for backing certain arms suppliers for defence deals, even after the forces have made a decision based on exhaustive trials. In the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft ) deal, he consistently batted for US suppliers Lockheed Martin & Boeing, even after Indian Air Force(IAF) short-listed the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon on the basis oftheir performance in the Field Evaluation Trials (FET).
  • Shukla has at times been criticized by other defence veterans for making sensational & bizarre claims in his media articles. For eg. in a 2016 research paper ‘Clearing the fog over IAF acquisition of Pilatus trainer Aircraft’  Gp. Capt Ravinder Singh Chhatwal (Retd), a Senior Fellow at CAPS (Centre for Air Power Studies) had this to say for a Business Standard article by Shukla on the same acquisiton –

“Some of the articles in the press have made bizarre statements that the IAF “diluted” the specifications for trainer aircraft perhaps to favour a particular vendor. While these types of sensational statements make for excellent copy to attract readers, they reveal little understanding of the reality and how defence requirements are processed in India.

On a personal front, Ajai Shukla is the brother-in-law of Suman Dubey, a journalist and hardcore Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, who is also one of the accused in the National Herald scam. Dubey was a friend of Rajiv Gandhi from his Doon school days. Shukla’s sister is Anita Shourie (wife of Arun Shourie), and his niece Mitali Saran is yet another Hindu-hating liberal columnist in the Business Standard stable.

NH Scam accused
4 other accused in NH scam, apart from Sonia & Rahul Gandhi, Young India; Credit: Daily Mail

Ajai Shukla was also the anchor of the ‘News Night’ programme on DD News during the later part of the UPA-2 Government. This is what Outlook reported about Shukla’s appointment – “Eyebrows are being raised at Shukla’s very appointment, given that he is the brother-in-law of part-time Prasar Bharati Board member, Suman Dubey, considered one of the closest insiders in the Gandhi family circle.”

More than Pulwama, more than the territorial integrity of the nation, Lutyens’ elites like Ajai Shukla have only one goal at the moment – to somehow defeat Modi in the 2019 elections, so it is back to the Congress-approved status quo where murky deals & the power, pelf and perks that accrue from proximity to the first family, again become the order of the day.

(Featured image source: ajaishukla.blogspot.com)

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