Apparently in the face of BJP's counter fire, the Congress on Friday said party chief Sonia Gandhi's `merchants of death' remarks was not aimed at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
"Mrs Gandhi took no names... She said nothing wrong. She said what the state government has already admitted in the Supreme Court, nothing more, nothing less," Union Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters in New Delhi.
"Mrs Gandhi said `your state functionaries'. `Merchants of death' was meant for the manner in which certain state functionaries were working. The Gujarat government's own counsel (KTS Tulsi) is saying Mr Modi should not have said it," he said.
Sibal was responding to a query about senior BJP leader L K Advani's sharp attack on Gandhi over the speech and the opposition party demanding action against her by the Election Commission over the `mechants of death' remarks.
The clarification comes even as AICC spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi has been saying in party briefings that the `merchants of death' was not only most appropriate for Modi but in fact was too mild.
Sibal also attacked Modi for saying Gandhi's speech provoked him into making the speech that has sparked a huge controversy over his justification of Sohrabuddin killing.
"He brought out advertisments that were communal in nature in Gujarati papers on November 28 and 30, much before Mrs Gandhi went to Gujarat," Sibal said.
"He has lied in saying he never said anything and that he was provoked," Sibal said.