In the eye of a storm over his remarks that Bharat Ratna should be taken back from Amartya Sen, BJP MP Chandan Mitra on Friday expressed regret over them, saying he "oversaid it."
"I think I may have exaggerated. I do regret the part about taking away of Bharat Ratna from Dr Sen, I oversaid it," Mitra told reporters in New Delhi.
BJP has distanced itself from Mitra's remarks. He too maintained today that his tweets on the issue reflect his personal views and not the party line.
But Mitra was critical of Sen's economics and described them as "outdated and one that needs to be discarded".
He also advised Sen to not engage in politics. "Dr Amartya Sen should behave like a Bharat Ratna does," he said.
Sen had earlier said that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi should not be the Prime Minister of the country. This had led Mitra to hit out at him.
Incidentally, Sen was given the Bharat Ratna by the erstwhile BJP-led NDA government.
Distancing the party from Mitra's strong views, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman had said on Thursday that the debate over Sen's Bharat Ratna is unfortunate.
"BJP is not a part of it. Views expressed by member/s can only be construed as their personal opinion," she said.
Sen had hit back at Mitra, saying if former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee asks him to return the Bharat Ratna, he will do so.