After his comments in an interview to national daily Indian Express, saying the Congress party was "directionless" and Rahul Gandhi is only playing a "cameo role" triggered a controversy, law minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday clarified saying his comments had been "misinterpreted and misconstrued".
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and law minister Salman Khurshid.
Khurshid disowned the remark made about the party being "directionless" but explained the "cameo role" part, blaming the media for "unwholesomely" reporting his views.
"(This is) Certainly not criticism and to call it that is just discouraging any form of wholesome discourse. My understanding of cameo is a beautiful but small and meticulous picture as opposed to a vast canvas. It is descriptive not judgmental," he said.
Though the Congress sought to bury the controversy with general secretary Janardan Dwivedi stating that there was no need for any further comments after Khurshid's clarification, sources said the party had asked him to explain his remarks.
But the comments provided fresh ammunition to the opposition with the BJP saying it concurred with his views.
Khurshid criticised the media for not seeing his remarks in “positive context” and warned that such reactions would persuade him to discuss such things within the party forum only and not with the media.
“Dammed if we speak and dammed if we don't. The media will do great disservice to democracy by forcing us to restrict our utterances to vetted press releases. On reflection, I feel this is something which we should restrict to within our party forum.”
Khurshid's statements have courted controversies earlier too. During UP elections, his remarks that Congress president Sonia Gandhi cried bitterly on seeing pictures of Batla House encounter had not gone down well with the party leadership.
He also earned a censure from the election commission for his remarks on sub-quota on minorities in one of his election meetings in Uttar Pradesh.
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