Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday said author Salman Rushdie's move to call off his India visit was his "personal decision" and the government had nothing to do with it.
"Calling off the visit is Rushdie's personal decision and the government has nothing to do with it," Digvijay told reporters here in a reply to a question.
"Who has stopped him?... He does not need a visa to come to India," he said, adding "there is no law" to stop the author from visiting the country.
Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband and various Muslim groups had opposed Rusdie's visit to the country to attend Jaipur Literature Festival.
After days of speculation, the controversial author called off his visit citing security issues.
Festival organisers read out a statement by the Booker Prize winning author, which said, "For several days I have made no public comments on this issue at the request of local authorities hoping that they would put in place arrangements to allow me to come and speak.
"But I have been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from Mumbai underworld might be on their way to eliminate me. While I have doubts about these intelligence inputs, it would be irresponsible for me to come and endanger the life of fellow authors and others," 64-year-old Rushdie said.