Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Sunday dismissed Salman Rushdie's charge that his presence at the Jaipur Literary Festival was blocked because of the party's "useless electoral calculations".
"I respect him but he is talking different from real situation," he told reporters here when his attention was drawn to the author's remarks at the India Today conclave on Saturday.
Rushdie, who has been castigated by fundamentalist Muslim groups for his book 'The Satanic Verses', had said blocking his presence in Jaipur "led the Congress party down the road" in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
Referring to the controversy which surrounded the Jaipur Festival in January which forced him to skip the event, he said, "What happened there is not Deobandi bigotry... It was pretty useless electoral calculations. It did not work, Rahul (Gandhi)."
He suggested that this "led to the debacle" of Congress in Uttar Pradesh.