Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani Monday asked senior Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry to "go and live" in Pakistan for suggesting to open the Indo-Pak border at Suigam village in the state to enable farmers to export their farm produce to the neighbouring country.
Hitting back, Congress asked Vaghani to first explain why the BJP government at the Centre is "going soft" on Pakistan.
"Madhusudanbhai should go to Pakistan and live there", said Vaghani when asked to comment about the Congress leader's suggestion, which he had shared during a party rally held near Himmatnagar town in Sabarkantha district on December 29.
At that programme, the Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat had said that opening of the Indo-Pak border at Suigam village in Banaskantha district would benefit farmers of three northern districts in the state.
"During my visit to Idar town some years ago, local farmers complained that their produce of tomatoes takes three days to reach the Wagha border (in Punjab) and lie their for another two days before it reaches Pakistan. As a result, farmers are not getting the desired price for the produce," Mistry had said.
Mistry further said he had told farmers in the past that the BJP government lacked vision.
"Suigam is just 125 kms away from Idar. If you open the border at Suigam, farmers can export many commodities to Pakistan. It will increase trade and eventually benefit farmers of Banaskantha, Sabarkantha and Patan," he had said.
Responding to Vaghani's barb at Mistry, Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi Monday said the BJP leader should first clear his party's stand on the "invitation extended by the Gujarat government to Pakistan for the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Summit".
"BJP leaders had promised to teach a lesson to Pakistan ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But now, their government is spreading a red carpet for Pakistan. The BJP should first explain this sudden change. They owe an explanation to the people of the country," said Doshi.
After the invitation was extended to Pakistan, office-bearers of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) had claimed that it was only a "general circular" meant for around 285 global trade bodies, and final invitation will be sent only after scrutiny.
On December 27, Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation Vice Chairman and Managing Director D. Thara said a Pakistani trade delegation may attend a two-day convention for the MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) sector during the upcoming summit.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)