Panaji: After creating a flutter in political circle with his remark that "there is no dialogue and they (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government) may meet the same fate as the Indira Gandhi-led Congress which was drubbed in the elections after Emergency", former finance minister and BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha on Sunday clarified that he was completely misunderstood.
"I was taking part in a discussion yesterday (on Saturday), the subject of which was 'Is Dialogue Dead'. I started by saying that consensus is the soul of democracy, which could be achieved only through dialogue, and, therefore, dialogue cannot be dead in a country where democracy is strong and thriving, and I went on defending this position," said Sinha clarifying his stance.
"When some people referred to some cases of intolerance, he said, "I reminded them of the imposition of Emergency by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, and I said the people of this country had got a lesson in 1977, because it is in not our spirit to be intolerant and it is not in our spirit to stifle dialogue, and therefore, both democracy and dialogue are alive."
"That is what I said," he told ANI.
"Anyone who has reported this completely misunderstood... because people report sometimes what they want you to say whether you have said it or you have not said it," he added.
The BJP veteran earlier remark drew sharp flak from the BJP with party leader Shaina NC stating "everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this smells of some kind of dissatisfaction of not being included in larger scheme of things".
"People are entitled to opinion, some satisfactory some not so satisfactory, but all in all it is the public of this country that will decide," she said.
"I don't think that anyone can defect from the issue, because Modi ji's work is here to speak. The way he has performed as a prime minister and continues to do so on the international forum and in India, nobody can take that away from him," she said defending Prime Minister Narendra Modi.