Watch: Shashi Tharoor defends Rahul Gandhi’s UK comments, snubs BJP’s demand for apology
Shashi Tharoor on Monday said Rahul Gandhi's were distorted and he did not say what he is being accused of and therefore, he sees no reason for Gandhi to offer any apology for his UK statements.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for 'blatant' politics over comments made by party leader Rahul Gandhi during his tour of the United Kingdom earlier this month. Tharoor said Gandhi's remarks were 'distorted' by the BJP, that he had not said anything like the accusations levelled against him and, therefore, there was no reason to apologise.
Tharoor's response came after the BJP increased pressure on Gandhi this morning as the Budget session of Parliament resumed. Defence minister Rajnath Singh kick-started the attack by demanding Gandhi apologise to the Indian people and Parliament for criticism of prime minister Narendra Modi and the BJP; Gandhi's comments included references to the Pegasus spyware row and China.
"... Rahul Gandhi did not say what he is accused of… he specified that this problem is for us in India and we will solve it internally," Tharoor said, pointing out Gandhi offered that caveat because 'he was not seeking outside help… only asking other countries to be aware because Indian democracy is a global public good'.
Tharoor said he does not, therefore, see any reason for Gandhi to apologise. "They have actually just seized on a headline… and we have all had this experience with our friends in the BJP," he told news agency ANI. "Content and intent were distorted from what was said to make a political issue…"
Speaking outside the Parliament, Tharoor also called the disruption of proceedings 'unfortunate'.
"Normally it is in the government's interest for the Budget session to function… if they create a situation where the Opposition reacts with outrage… what do they want out of it? Condemn it, pass a resolution…" Tharoor asked, slamming the ruling party for its 'short-sighted tactics'.
Following the BJP's adamant demand and the Congress' protest in reaction, both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha proceedings spiralled into chaos and were adjourned till tomorrow.