New Delhi: Facing controversy, Congress on Thursday
washed its hands off party spokesperson Rashid Alvi`s comments
suspecting a foreign hand behind Anna Hazare`s anti-graft
movement and resenting US comments on the agitation.
"I can`t comment.... Alvi is not here. I do not want to
speak on his behalf.... Sometimes some human errors take
place," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary told reporters in
reply to a volley of questions on Alvi`s statements which have
been slammed by the Opposition.
At one point, Chowdhary said that Alvi could have
really meant that "you are open to criticism from other
countries also" when situations like this take place in
Asked whether the party endorses Alvi`s remarks, she
said, "I can`t say for sure."
A senior party leader speaking on condition of anonymity
meanwhile admitted "it was an error".
When pointed out that the US has blamed "inaccurate
reporting" in India for creating an impression that it had
issued a strong statement on the campaign led by Hazare,
Chowdhary cryptically said, "The matter ends there."
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, told
reporters in Washington last evening, "I think this goes to
inaccurate reporting in India that we had issued some sort of
statement on -- with regard to this case that we did not
issue. With regard to the case, however, you know where we
are. We support freedom of expression and assembly. And we
encourage all countries and all parties to do the same."
Alvi had yesterday said, "For the first time, the US said
that Hazare`s movement should be allowed and there should be
no obstruction to it. What was need for the US to give this
statement? ... whether there is any power which is supporting
this movement which wants to destabilise not only the
government but the country."