New Delhi, April 29 : Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday defended senior party leader Salman Khurshid over his “blood on party’s hands” remarks, saying he would allow “divergent views to flourish in the party”, but asked partymen to fight together in the ideological battle against the RSS.
He also attacked the BJP, saying that in the party, it is only the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah that hold sway.
Addressing the ‘Jan Aakrosh’ rally at Ramlila Maidan here, Gandhi said: “This party belongs to the country and there is no dearth of leadership in our party. Every person has some strength. But sometimes there are divergent opinions in our party.
“I want to give example…Salman Khurshidji is sitting here..and a few days back he voiced a different opinion.
“…And I am ready to accept from this stage that there will be divergent views in our party. And I will allow different streams of thoughts to flourish in my party.”
Asserting he will protect Khurshid, Gandhi said: “But I want to say one thing..when the party is fighting a battle..when the party is fighting against the RSS, then we will have to fight together..have to fight with love.”
“BJP president (Amit Shah) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi can never say such a thing from their stage because in their party only one view will find place, only one thought will be accepted. And that is Amit Shah and Modi’s thought.
“In their party, neither (Union Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley is respected, nor (party veteran L.K.) Advaniji is respected.. even their chief ministers will not be respected,” he said, adding that the only ones to be respected are Modi and Amit Shah.
“This is the difference between us and them,” said Gandhi.
Khurshid on Monday stepped into a controversy by saying that there is “blood on the hands of the Congress”, a remark later dubbed as “unfounded” by his party.
Also noting that many other countries have attacked some country or other sometime and India was the only one which has never attacked any country in 3,000 years, he said: “The reason for this is that in the DNA of our country there is respect for divergent views and thought.
“And this is Congress party. We want to give strength to this stream of thought. The entire country is standing with us, be it youth or the old. We have to change ourselves a bit and we will do it.”
Gandhi also said both old and the young leaders will be loved and respected in the Congress and find a place.
“The worker may be 80 or 90 years of age, a leader may also be of the similar age. He may also be an 18-year-old worker, you will all be loved. And if anyone doesn’t show respect to you, I will take action against him,” he added.