Khurshid comments kick up row, clarifies
A controversy broke out over Law minister Salman Khurshid's reported comments that Rahul Gandhi is only playing a 'cameo role' and Congress is directionless prompting the senior leader on Tuesday to clarify what he meant was that the young and new leadership should prepare to lead from the front.
Seeking to clarify his remarks, Khurshid said it should be seen in a "positive context" and lashed out at the media for misinterpreting them.
Addressing a press conference after his reported remarks triggered a row, Khurshid said his statements on Rahul Gandhi and the Congress are being wrongly interpreted.
"My party has to give strength to the government. The party is the base of the government and the party, despite the disappointments that it has faced in few places, is absolutely determined to ensure that we put the best possible step forward to face the challenge that we face today.
"In that context my urging of young and new leadership of our party to prepare themselves to lead from the front, to prepare themselves to take on the challenge of our times is something you must see in the right context rather than in the negative context," Khurshid said.
In published remarks in a national daily, Khurshid said the root of the problems plaguing the Congress was the lack of "ideological direction" from its next generation leader Rahul Gandhi.
"Until now," he said, "we have only seen cameos of this thought and ideas like democratising elections to the Youth Congress. But he has not weaved all of this into a grand announcement. This is a period of waiting."
The Law Minister also said that he wanted to make it clear the media reactions will persuade him or convince him to say that he should not discuss these things in the presence of media but discuss within the party.
"I, on reflection, feel this (discussion about leadership) is something which we should restrict to within our party forum," he said.
Khurshid said those in the government and in the Congress are making constant efforts to have a dialogue with the media to make available the best information with transparency.
"But obviously everytime, that we reach out to you, talk to you, it is for you to a decision to make. Are you going to see that in a positive light? Or are you going to project it in a negative light?
"My urging and my request to you is please read it (his remarks) in a positive context because we are determined as a government to face the global challenges that have an impact here as well and those local domestic issues that have arisen, we will face them with confidence," he said.
Khurshid's remarks gave fresh ammunition to the Opposition BJP to attack the government with its spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad saying if a senior minister says his party is directionless, then the country is in a "drift".
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