New Delhi: As the controversy over P Chidambaram`s remarks about middle class and Salman Khurshid`s comments about Rahul Gandhi continued, Congress today said the two union ministers were "quoted out of context".
"There is nothing to forgive and forget. Khurshid has clarified it and the issue is over. It is yesterday?s news, can we talk something else today?," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said dismissively.
She was replying to a question whether the party has adopted a forgive-and-forget attitude to Khurshid`s comments on the state of affairs in the party and on Rahul Gandhi.
Chowdhary`s refrain was similar when asked about the political controversy surrounding Chidambaram`s remarks about the middle class in the context of rising prices.
"A lot has been made of nothing. It is very unfortunate. I think that besides asking for freedom of speech, the same should be applied for freedom of expression also," she said when reminded that BJP dubbed Chidambaram`s remarks as a "mockery of Aam Admi".
She said "quoting words out of context" is very confusing not just for the person who has spoken but for the readers also.
"It was taken absolutely out of context. It shows we are not able to synthesise and put it together. Chidambaram has already clarified and there is nothing more that I can contribute, add or subtract," Chowdhary said.
She also attacked BJP for its criticism of Khurshid and Chidambaram saying the opposition party should first reflect on how far they have made a mockery of the people of Karnataka and should set their own house in order.
A Congress leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, lauded the promptness with which Khurshid clarified his comments published in a newspaper which invited sharp criticism from BJP and SP.
"Nothing more needs to be said on the issue after the manner in which Khurshid clarified the issue promptly," a senior party leader said.
Another leader, speaking separately, described the controversy surrounding Khurshid`s remarks as "unfortunate" and dismissed the view that the minister was attacking Rahul Gandhi.
"Why Salman will make a statement like that? He is a very articulate minister. What he actually meant to say was that Rahul Gandhi should come forward to play a larger role with grandstead. There is nothing wrong in it. We all want that to happen" the leader said.
BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad today said Home Minister P Chidambaram`s remarks on the middle class paying for mineral water and icecream but objecting to hike in rice and wheat prices shows the UPA government "is heartless and insensitive" and asked it to stop playing such "ugly jokes" on the people.
The Home Minister expressed "shock and disgust" over "deliberate distortion" of his statement in the media about the middle class attitude towards price rise, saying he did not "mock or chide" anyone.