With his remarks sparking outrage among rights activists and the gay community, Congress on Tuesday steered clear of Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's controversial comments that homosexuality is "unnatural" and a "disease", saying it was not a party issue.
"It is a matter for the Health Minister and the Government to respond to. It is an issue concerning the Government and not a party issue", AICC spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.
This was Ahmed's refrain to a number of questions on the issue.
Azad on Monday described homosexuality as a "disease" and regretted that despite being "unnatural", it now afflicts a substantial number of people in India.
"The disease of 'Men having Sex with Men' (MSM), which was found more in the developed world, has now unfortunately come to our country and there is a substantial number of such people in India", Azad had said speaking at a convention on HIV/AIDS.