“George W Bush should be given Bharat Ratna”.
This remark by Abhishek Singhvi in a “lighter vein” on Friday triggered a controversy with a Union Minister snubbing the Congress spokesperson for the comment.
Speaking at a function organised by FICCI, Singhvi said “if there is a provision, he (Bush) should be given Bharat Ratna for his contribution to the Indo-US ties”.
Hours after Singhvi’s advocacy of Bush for the highest civilian award of the country, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi criticised the statement saying he needs to be careful making comments even in a personal capacity.
“I expect the Congress spokesman to be more careful in such remarks even if they are made in personal capacity as they reflect on the party. Enemies of Congress can interpret them differently and therefore he needs to be careful even if he speaks in a lighter vein,” Ravi told PTI.
Main opposition BJP was also not amused. The party utilised the remark by Singhvi by targeting Congress and the government it heads at the Centre.
“They have a problem in giving Bharat Ratna to Atal Bihari Vajpayee but want to give it to Bush. This says something about their attitude,” senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters.
Speaking later at AICC briefing, Singhvi said “you are trying to sensationalise a non-issue. The statement was in a personal capacity as the chairman of Indo-US forum of parliamentarians in a lighter vein. I am not the recommending authority for Bharat Ratna”.