Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid stepped into a controversy by admitting that there was "blood on the hands of the Congress", a remark later dubbed as "unfounded" by his party.
Khurshid’s remarks came at an event in Aligarh Muslim University while responding to a question on the loss of Muslim lives in communal incidents and about the Babri Masjid-Ram temple dispute in Ayodhya.
The Congress slammed the remarks as “unfounded” and said these can only help the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“This is a political question but I will answer it. I am a part of the Congress, so let me accept it that we have blood on our hands. This is the reason you are telling us that if someone attacks you, then we should not come forward to protect you,” Khurshid, a former Union Miniter, told the questioner.
“We will show you the blood stains so that you understand that these stains are on on us which should not come to you….” he said, asking the student to learn from history and not to get into a situation that after 10 years, he does not find anyone in the AMU to ask such question.
The student, who posed the question, referred to communal conflagrations, including those in Hashimpura and Muzaffarnagar. He said that the opening of the Babri Masjid structure’s gates, placing of Lord Ram’s idol inside and the structure’s demolition took place when the Congress was in power at the Centre.
“The Congress has Muslims’ blood on its hands. With what words will you wash them off,” the student asked.
Congress Spokesperson P.L. Punia told the media at a briefing that the party “disagrees with the statement of Salman Khurshid in toto”.
“Everyone must know that both before and after independence, the Congress is the only party which has worked towards building an egalitarian society by carrying all sections of people together, including the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the poor as also religious and ethnic minorities,” he said.
“As these intrinsic foundational values are under attack today from the Narendra Modi government, all leaders must remember that such unfounded statements only help the cause of those in power, who seek to divide society on caste and communal lines to retain and attain power at any cost,” Punia added.
Salman Khurshid has stoked contorversies in the past also. During Uttar Pradesh Assembly election in 2012, in which his wife was also in the fray, he had talked of nine per cent sub-quota for backward Muslims. (IANS)