Union ministers Kapil Sibal and PR Dasmunsi on Wednesday came out in support of Sanjay Dutt saying that the Congress should stand by the family of Sunil Dutt who epitomised secularism and national integration.
Despite his support on Tuesday to Dutt becoming a matter of controversy, Dasmunsi stood his ground declaring that the jailed actor was a "patriot" and asserted that he would "never disown" the contribution of the Dutt family.
Sibal, speaking separately and "not as a minister", said that "when the family is in trouble we should stand by the family." The noted lawyer said he was speaking without going into the merits of the case.
However, AICC spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi at the party briefing distanced the party from both Sanjay Dutt's sentence and Dasmunsi's comments. He said the minister's reaction was his personal view, a stand disputed by Dasmunsi.
"I will go to jail with a garland when Dutt will be released," Dasmunsi told PTI soon after Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi distanced the party from his statement on Tuesday that all efforts should be made to enable Dutt get "relief" from the highest judiciary.
At the same time, he made it clear that the judiciary was doing its job and it should be respected. Describing Sanjay Dutt as a "patriot", he said the actor was not a "terrorist or anti-national". He said helping Sanjay Dutt was his "bounden duty" to the soul of Sunil Dutt whose family has upheld the ideals of national integration and secularism.