A furious Congress party has demanded an apology from the BJP after Union minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s comment that “Sonia Gandhi will cry all night if a terrorist like Osama bin Laden is killed”.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader had made the comment on Saturday in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur that the Opposition talks about secularism, but when a terrorist is killed it is instantly linked to religion.
On Sunday, Naqvi had fired another salvo at the Congress president, saying her sole agenda was to disgrace the nation’s image for the sake of a mere political vendetta.
The minister told news agency ANI that he was just repeating the statement of a senior Congress leader who had said the same about Gandhi after the Batla House encounter in 2008.
“A Congress leader had said earlier that Sonia had cried all night when terrorists were killed in the Batla House encounter. I just reiterated it. You should know that when this controversial statement was made, we chose to stay away from it at the time. But now a situation has risen where the Congress and their other allies are making desperate attempts to twist the words in their favour,” Naqvi told ANI.
The controversial encounter had taken place when a Delhi Police team stormed an apartment building suspecting that terrorists were hiding there. Two alleged terrorists and a police officer were killed in the incident that sparked a political controversy when the Congress alleged that the encounter was staged.
“Go head to head with the BJP and Modi ji, but why are you tarnishing the image of the nation? You are telling the world that intolerance is on the rise and the nation is in a state of complete chaos. Where is the chaos? Clearly this is their well-planned conspiracy drawn for their own advantage,” Naqvi added.
The Congress condemned Naqvi’s remark and demanded an apology from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this regard.
“Naqvi has lost his balance after being subservient to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that is why he is making such statements,” Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said.
Congress leader PC Chacko said the remark was an attempt to gain cheap popularity.
“They think that by attacking Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders of the Congress Party they can gain more popularity amongst their team. What he has said is completely ridiculous and is not worth of a reply from our side,” Chacko told ANI.
Demanding an apology from the BJP, another Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that action must be initiated against those who have been continuously making inflammatory statements.
“When their own party president is going around making inflammatory statements across the nation, what can you expect from their other leaders? We strongly condemn this and demand that the BJP apologise to Sonia Gandhi and the Congress,” Alvi told ANI.
(With ANI and PTI inputs)