Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Sunday said he never blamed right-wing groups for the killing of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare but alleged Bharatiya Janata Party leaders had met the Prime Minister on the Malegaon attack case, even as the BJP demanded an apology from the Congress for the remarks.
"I want to ask (senior BJP leaders L K) Advaniji and Rajnathji (Singh) why they went to meet the prime minister after Sadhvi Pragya was arrested after the Malegaon blast. Why did Rajnathji go to the jail to meet her. BJP has to answer these questions," Singh said.
Asserting that he had never questioned involvement of Pakistani elements in 26/11 Mumbai strike, Singh said he also never said that Karkare was killed by Hindu right-wing activists.
"But, it is a fact that I am on record saying that he (Karkare) was being threatened by some right-wing activists."
The BJP sought an aplogy from the Congress over Singh's remarks. "The Congress has to decide... How can the party dissociate itself from remarks of its general secretary. The Congress deliberately asks him to give such statements and then retracts," party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said.
"We demand that the Congress seek forgiveness from the country," he said.
The Congress kept its distance from Singh's remarks.
Party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said that the conversation between Singh and Karkare was between "two individuals".
"It is not a policy issue," he said.
Singh had said Friday that about two hours before the attacks in Mumbai started, Karkare had told him over phone that he was depressed by threats from people annoyed by his investigations in the Malegaon blasts.
Karkare's wife Kavita had slammed his statement, saying that political parties should stop playing politics around the sacrifice of martyrs.