Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid's comment that his party has the blood of Muslims on its hands has sent the grand old party scurrying into damage control mode. Even as the Congress sought to limit the damage, the BJP has jumped in to clobber the Congress over the issue.
Congress spokesperson PL Punia distanced his party from Khurshid's comment. "Salman Khurshid is a senior leader. The Congress Party disagrees with the statement of Shri Salman Khurshid in toto… This could be his personal opinion, but the Congress Party has nothing to do with it," he said.
"Whether it was before Independence or afterwards, the Congress has always worked to take all sections of society forward. And we have always opposed to ideologies that look to practice politics by dividing society on the basis of religion and caste," Punia claimed. He refused to comment if the party would take any sort of disciplinary action against Khurshid.
Khurshid's controversial remark had come at an event at the Aligarh Muslim University. "I am a part of Congress so let me accept that we have the blood of Muslims on our hands. I am telling you this; we are ready to show the blood on our hands so that you understand that you too must not get blood on your hands."
"If you attack them, you are the ones who would get stains on your hands. Learn something from our history and don't create such situation for yourself where if you come back to AMU after 10 years you will find one like you to ask the question," he added."
Speaking to the reporters after these remarks, Khurshid said he was defending the Congress. "I am not a representative of the Congress party, I am the Congress party. I was defending Congress party. What I said I will continue to say, I made the statement as a human being," he said.
The BJP took the opportunity to launch an attack on the Congress. "Salman Khurshid has revealed the truth behind Rahul Gandhi's 'Save the Constitution' campaign. He has admitted that Congress' hand is stained with blood. It is not only stained with the blood of Muslims but also of Sikhs who were killed in 1984," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, reported news agency ANI.
(With inputs from ANI)