New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retd.) V.K. Singh on Thursday apologised for his statement on the Ballabhgarh incident, which had stirred controversy and led opposition parties to even demand his ouster.
In an exclusive interview to ANI, the former army chief apologised and asserted that he had no intention to hurt anbody's sentiments.
"I will be very clear on this that in case, because of this mixing up of two things, which someone else has done, if somebody's feelings have been hurt, I am apologizing for it. Because some people have created a totally different picture all together, which was never there. I had no intention of hurting anybody. Because of this imaginative linking of somebody if somebody's feelings have been hurt, I apologize whole-heartedly," Singh told ANI here.
"Let me be very clear and clarify in that manner. There are two separate remarks all together. Somebody has mixed them up and try to portray something which was not there. What I said was that government is not responsible for every local incident that happens. And after that when the person(journalist) insisted that no it is still government's fault, I said that tomorrow if a dog is walking and you throw a stone, is the government responsible," he added.
The former army chief said that those making an issue out of his remark are doing so from 'their imagination.'
"Having said this let me also clarify, I have been in the army which does not believe in caste and religion. We fight as Indians and not as caste. These thoughts are never in our mind.
We don't divide the society into Mahadalit or Dalits or anything else. There are people who do it for their own advantage but we don't do it and I go by that philosophy," he said.
General (Retd.) Singh also said that he respects Baba Saheb Ambedkar and the Constitution of India and believes in his principles.
"I respect Baba Saheb. He was born in Mau which is a place of the army. I have followed the various ideals which he has laid down. I respect my Constitution of India, therefore there is no question of belittling anybody."
Earlier in the day, the former army chief had courted a controversy with his reaction over the Dalit killings in Ballabhgarh, saying that it had become customary for the Centre to be blamed for everything negative that happened in the country.
"This incident has nothing to with the Central government. This is the failure of state government. If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible," Singh had said.