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Congress leaders target Advani for Varun hate speech episode

PTI  New Delhi, March 29, 2009
First Published: 20:54 IST(29/3/2009) | Last Updated: 20:59 IST(29/3/2009)

Congress on Sunday trained their guns on BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani for the Varun Gandhi hate speech episode alleging he was the "real culprit" and said the young BJP Lok Sabha nominee was just a "small pawn and minor player" in the party strategy.

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"Varun is a small pawn in the whole game. The real culprit is Mr Advani for this philosophy and thinking," Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said in the context of Varun's alleged anti-Muslim speeches.

Senior Congress leader and Union minister Kapil Sibal said Varun is a "minor player" in the whole controversy and that the conspirators and co-conspirators who stood to gain out of this were "Advani and his party."

Attacking Advani for maintaining that the party's stand on fielding Varun from Pilibhit was correct, Singhvi alleged that he supported him and never denounced his utterances.

Another party leader Digvijay Singh said, "it was sad to see that Varun had been made a pawn by the BJP, RSS and VHP and his inflammatory speeches were being written by people like VHP leader Parveen Togadia to divide the voters on religious lines."

Responding to Advani's remarks on the Varun issue that it was for the first time in the last 60 years the Election Commission gave a recommendation to a party not to field a candidate for the polls, Sibal countered " no statement has been ever made in the past 60 years like the one given by Varun."

Sibal also alleged that Varun is "10 steps ahead of Modi", an apparent comparison to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi known for his hardline remarks.


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