Cong raps Singhvi for Bharat Ratna remark
An embarrassed Congress on Saturday distanced itself from the remarks made by its spokesman Abhishek Singhvi that the former US President George W. Bush should be given Bharat Ratna, reports HT Political Bureau.delhi Updated: Feb 15, 2009 14:42 IST
An embarrassed Congress on Saturday distanced itself from the remarks made by its spokesman Abhishek Singhvi that the former US President George W. Bush should be given Bharat Ratna.
“This may be his personal opinion, we have nothing to do with these remarks which neither reflect the views of the government nor of the party,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vyalar Ravi said.
He was responding to Singhvi’s comments made at a conference on Friday, where he reportedly said:“Give Bharat Ratna to Bush. I don’t know what the rules are but I will officially do something.”
Ravi said party spokespersons were expected to “exercise caution even while speaking in a personal capacity. Nothing should be said which can bring embarrassment to the party”.
Singhvi said the comments were made in a “lighter vein and in a completely different context”.
Editor of the party’s official mouthpiece, Congress Sandesh, Anil Shastri too criticised Singhvi’s suggestion.
“We cannot lose sight of the fact that there is a large section of the people in this country who see former President Bush as an invader of Iraq and a violator of human rights.
“I do not think any right thinking Indian will ever nominate his name for Bharat Ratna,” Shastri said.
Clarifying his position, Singhvi said :“The context in which I made the remarks was explained at the FICCI conference itself. At the end of my speech, purely in my capacity as head of Indo-US Forum, in a lighter vein after having listed the achievements of Bush administration towards India including the India-US nuclear deal, I had remarked that he may qualify for Bharat Ratna.”
He said there was no question of speaking on behalf of the government or the party. “The remarks were made in
a different capacity, different fora and completely different context.”