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Former R&AW boss AS Dulat now joins Bharat Jodo Yatra, calls it 'exceptional'

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Days after the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Raghuram Rajan joined the Bharat Jodo Yatraformer head of the research and analysis wing (R&AW), AS Dulat, walked Tuesday with senior congressional leader Rahul Gandhi as his cross-country march resumed in Delhi.

In a clear attack, the BJP questioned the play of the “controversial” Dulat. “Nobody has ever accused Dulat of being committed to his work or the country he was supposed to serve, dined with secessionists and Pakistan’s deep state, and played a monumental role in the Kashmir fiasco,” tweeted Amit Malviya, head of the BJP’s IT cell. .

Like Rajan, Dulat received a personal invitation from Rahul to join the Yatra. The congressional leader wrote personal letters to several prominent personalities, calling them to participate in the march “aimed at awakening the nation’s conscience to crippling inequality, brutal social polarization and violent authoritarianism”.

Dulat, an IPS officer of the 1965 batch who served as a Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), is considered one of India’s leading experts on Kashmir and served in Srinagar in the 1980s as an IB officer. Rahul will end his Yatra by raising the Tricolor in Srinagar on 30th January.

Although the BJP raised questions about Dulat’s tenure on Tuesday, during PMO Atal Bihari Vajpayee from 1999 to 2004, he was its adviser in Kashmir. Dulat even wrote a book titled ‘Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years’ based on that time.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dulat said walking the Yatra was a wonderful experience, “fantastic” and “exceptional” exercise. He joined Rahul when the Yatra reached Shahdara and walked with him for an hour.

Welcoming the “young man’s” invitation, Dulat said: “I thought I’d let myself go and see what it’s all about… something different, something exceptional that he’s doing. My friend Sudheendra Kulkarni walked with him in Haryana and sent me some pictures. It also encouraged me. Finally, when I got an invite, I thought I’d let myself go and check it out.

Dulat said participating in the Yatra was “quite an experience” for him. “The people who supported him are not ordinary, they are not normal. There is something that attracts people, especially young people. The streets were absolutely packed. It was quite an experience. I thought it would be simpler, but…”

When participating in a political event organized by a political party, he said: “I am not a politician. But is there anything wrong with someone who retired… was it 22-24 years ago… joining something he thinks is good?… I think what this young man is doing is certainly something exceptional… amazing.”

Asked what attracted him most to the Yatra, the message or the sheer effort of the walk, Dulat said: “Everything… I don’t think anyone will ever do that again. No one has done that and I don’t think anyone will walk that many miles again.”

The former R&AW boss added: “This is not a scam. The man is walking… He is promoting the idea of ​​India”.

Asked if the move meant he planned to join Congress, Dulat laughed. “It’s already 30 years late… I’m too old for politics. If anyone is trying to say or imply that I’m going into Congress, no, no… Congress has been in power for so many years and we’ve served with Congress. I know a lot more congressmen than BJP people. The fact that I worked with Atalji was an exception. He was an incredible human being. These are exceptional experiences.”

National Spokesperson for Congress Abhishek Singhvi underlined this. “Good to see AS Dulat joining #BharatJodoYatra, detractors must remember he was one of Mr. AB Vajpayee on Kashmir issue and now he sees RG as a better alternative,” tweeted Singhvi.

In his letter inviting Dulat to join the Yatra, among others, Rahul wrote: “We listen to anyone who wants to be heard. We offer no judgment or opinion. We walk to unite all Indians, regardless of gender, caste or religion, because we know they are equal citizens. We walk to fight hate and fear.”

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