Cong hands stained with Muslims’ blood: Salman Khurshid
Party distances from remark
New Delhi, Apr 24 : A controversy erupted today over senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s remarks that the party’s hands were stained with blood, prompting the UPA major to quickly distance itself from the comment.
The party said it “disagreed completely” with Khurshid, and requested its leaders to refrain from making such “unfounded” statements that “help the cause” of the party in power.
Khurshid, however, defended the comments he had made on Sunday at an event in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Uttar Pradesh, saying “he will continue to say what he said”.
The former Union minister stressed he had made the remarks in response to a query as his party came under attack.
Acknowledging that communal riots and other sectarian clashes did take place during the Congress rule, Khurshid said the party’s hands were stained with blood.
“It is a political question. There is blood on our hands. I am also a part of the Congress so let me say it, we have blood on our hands,” said Khurshid.
The Congress leader also asserted that that was not a reason why his party should not come forward to protect Muslims in case of attacks against them.
“I am telling you. We are ready to show the blood on our hands so that you realise that you too must not get blood on your hands. If you attack them, you are the ones who would get stains on your hands,” Khurshid said.
The student’s question was prefaced with a list of communal conflagrations, including at Maliana and Muzaffarnagar, and various other sectarian acts like “the opening of the gates of Babri Masjid, placing of idols inside it and then its demolition” during the Congress government.
“The Congress has Muslim blood on its hands. With what words will you wash it off?” the student had asked.
Asked by reporters here today if he would stick to his comment, Khurshid said, “Have you ever known me to withdraw a statement? What I said, I will continue to say. What I didn’t say, I will never say.”
Asked if he made the remarks as a member of the Congress, Khurshid replied he did so “as a human being”.
“It’s the party that has given everything that I have today. And why should I step aside when my party is attacked? I must answer anyone who attacks my party and I do it to the best of my ability,” he added.
The Congress disassociated itself from the remark, saying it disagreed with Khurshid “in toto”. It said the remark could be Khurshid’s personal view.
Speaking to reporters here, Congress spokesperson PL Punia said the Congress was the only party that worked towards building an egalitarian society by carrying all sections of the people, including SCs/STs and minorities before and after Independence era. The intrinsic values, he alleged, were under attack now.
“All leaders must remember that such unfounded statements only help the cause of those in power today who seek to divide the society on caste and communal lines to retain and attain power at any cost,” he added.
Asked if the party would take action against Khurshid, Punia evaded a direct reply, saying he need not add to what he stated.
Khurshid’s comments acknowledgement of Cong’s history: BJP
New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) The BJP today described senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s statement that his party had stains of blood on its hands as an “acknowledgement” of its history of “engineering communal riots”, and said it continued to practise the same politics of creating division and tensions to get votes.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Congress always wore mask of secularism but practised communalism and added that people wanted it to “accept” truth and come clean after Khurshid made his “individual confession”.
Citing a number of major riots, including in Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur and Malegaon, which occurred when the Congress was in power, Naqvi said that more than 50,000 such violent incidents had happened under its governments in which thousands of innocent people were killed. He also made a reference to the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
“The Congress is a history-sheeter as far as communal riots are concerned. It has practised politics of divide and rule while using castes and communities to sow division in society. It created social tensions for votes. It continues with this tradition,” he said.
“The opposition party wore mask of secularism but its character has always been communal,” he alleged.