Delhi: Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi on Thursday met head of the Congress disciplinary committee AK Antony, as per reports.
He reportedly met Antony to explain his position for allegedly praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and saying that the BJP leader had started a 'new era'.
After the meeting, there were indications that there would be no disciplinary action against the 69-year-old leader as he possibly convinced the top leadership that he was 'misquoted' which he also claimed at a press conference, as per PTI.
The controversy was stirred yesterday when Dwivedi was reportedly quoted as saying by a web portal that Modi has been successful in convincing people that he was closest to Indian citizens.
The Congress leader also apparently said that Modi was a victory of Indianness.
The Congress leader had added that BJP's victory has ushered in a new time which has brought forth a very big challenge for Congress and there is no scope for any misunderstanding over the issue.
Dwivedi later clarified that he was quoted him out of context.
Meanwhile, another Congress leader Salman Khurshid said, “Janardhan ji is very careful with words, many of us have often been counselled by him. Whatever he said should be left to him,” he said.
PC Chacko also came to his defence saying that Dwivedi's “statement was distorted by the media” and that “he had already put forth the true version.”
However, addressing the press in the national capital, Congress general secretary Ajay Maken said, “What Dwivedi has said is totally opposite to the Congress' idea of Indianness. The victory of Modi can by no stretch be the victory of Indianness.”
Maken, who is also the head of AICC communication department, added that in the last seven months of President's rule in Delhi, which saw Modi government running the show, the city had witnessed several incidents of violence including in Trilokpuri and Bawana.
"How can anyone be talked of as symbol of Indianness under whose leadership the national capital witnesses such incidents and whose ministers speak objectionable language and not being proceeded against?" Maken asked.
Asked whether Dwivedi's remarks were indicative of friction with the party's leadership, Maken said the remarks are not against any individual but against Congress' ideology.
"It is totally different from the ideology, stand and thinking of the Congress party. It is totally opposite the thinking of the Congress party," he said.
Indicating that he has been talking to the media following green signal from the top, Maken, who is known to be close to party vice president Rahul Gandhi, said, "Whatever I am saying is in my capacity as general secretary in charge of the communications department."
On the other hand, Dwivedi's remarks are being lapped up by BJP leaders in the midst of the keenly contested Delhi Assembly polls.
BJP leader RP Rudy said, “Janardan Dwivedi knows the internal state of Congress, many Congress leaders can see that Modi ji's leadership is effective,” as per ANI.
Addressing the media separately, soon after the AICC briefing, Dwivedi suggested that he was a victim of improper understanding of what he had said and the intention behind his remarks.
Dwivedi ducked questions on whether he sees a conspiracy behind what has been reported against him and if he had given any explanation to the leadership. "You know I never talk about internal party matters," he said as per PTI.
Asserting that he has been grossly misquoted, the senior Congress leader, who was also a professor, said that in his first book itself he had written that Mahatma Gandhi, Prem Chand, Ram Manohar Lohia, Suryakant Nirala, and Pandit Nehru symbolised Indianness.
He said with its noble tradition and it leading the struggle for freedom, Congress has remained a symbol of Indianness.
Asked whether Sonia Gandhi epitomises Indian-ness, he replied in the affirmative saying that the Congress president represents the party.
He sidestepped a question on whether he would continue in the post in the light of the party condemning his remarks.
Dwivedi said that what he had stated in an 'objective' analysis was that the election results of 2014 was not the victory of Modi or BJP but defeat of Congress.
As Dwivedi's interview created speculation over his future course of action, he made it clear that "people like him do not change their thought and loyalties. If such a time comes, I will keep away from partisan politics.
With Agency inputs