Congress on Saturday distanced itself from party General Secretary Digvijay Singh's controversial remarks that the slain Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had told him that he feared for his safety from Hindu extremists.
"There is no question of agreeing or disagreeing. It is regarding a conversation between two individuals. Unfortunately one of them Karkare is no more with us. So Digvijay Singh will be in a better position to comment on his statement," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
Dwivedi said it appears that Singh personally knew Karkare, whose family hailed from Madhya Pradesh and the slain IPS officer had called him due to his personal association.
"Singh has made that private conversation public in a programme and the party has no role into it. Hence only he can comment on it. The party has nothing to say on it," he added.
Singh today stoked a controversy with his claim that Karkare had called him hours before the 26/11 terror strikes, saying that he feared for his safety from Hindu extremists, triggering a strong reaction from the BJP.
Reports had it that the Congress leader had made similar remarks during an interaction in a book release function in the national capital a few days back.
Singh claimed that Karkare had talked about a threat to his life from those opposed to his probe into the Malegaon blast in which Hindu extremists were accused.
"When I called him he said, he was receiving some threat calls. He did not know who was calling. An article was published in a magazine linked to RSS against his son. It alleged that his son had got some Rs 50 crore contract from Dubai while his son was just 17-years-old," he said.
Singh said that Karkare was a "little depressed" that top leaders of BJP including Rajnath Singh were questioning his integrity.
"After Malegaon blast, we nabbed people about whom I had prior knowledge. They were involved in terrorist activities. They were involved in (Mau) bomb blast and Bhopal bomb blast. I knew all these", Singh, a former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, said.
Singh noted at that time he had "some information that some people were questioning Karkare's integrity.....Among them there were top leaders from BJP, including Rajnath Singh. He was little depressed about this."
He said investigating agencies should look into all the matters.
BJP slammed Singh for his "irresponsible statement" on Karkare, saying it was a "serious blow" to India's fight against terror and an attempt to divert attention from scams facing the UPA.
Explaining his remarks, Singh later said he did not say that RSS was behind 26/11 Mumbai strikes and that he has
"absolutely no doubt" that Karkare was killed by Pakistani terrorists.
"I do not want to politicise this. I haven't said that RSS is behind 26/11. I have absolutely no doubt that he
was killed by Pakistani terrorist but BJP leaders including Rajnathji had questioned integrity of Karkare.
"The fact remains that Karkare was harassed by BJP leaders," he said.