In a bid to stop him from further damaging the electoral prospects, Congress has distanced itself from suspended leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s pro-Pakistan statement even as other Congress leaders are demanding his expulsion from the party.
Mani Shankar Aiyar should stop giving such remarks, he has already been suspended. He should stay quiet. BJP can take advantage of this. I am writing to Rahul Gandhi ji asking him to expel Aiyar from the party: V. Hanumantha Rao, Congress on Aiyar’s remarks on Pakistan pic.twitter.com/4QN4bbHvSO
— ANI (@ANI) February 13, 2018
The suspended Congress leader was in Pakistan recently to attend the Karachi Literature Festival where he called for an “uninterrupted and uninterruptible” dialogue between India and Pakistan in a session and proclaimed that he was “proud” of Pakistan for pursuing a scope for dialogue with India but sad due to the lack of reciprocation by their counterparts at New Delhi. “And I am very proud and half very sad that this sentence of these three words has been accepted as Pakistan policy, but has not been accepted as Indian policy,” said Aiyar as quoted by Pakistani media.
Today, while interacting with media, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, said that whatever Aiyar said in Pakistan was his own view and did not reflect views of the party.
The remark is his own, he is suspended from the Congress party. He doesn’t have any right to speak on the behalf of the party: Abhishek Singhvi, Congress on Mani Shankar Aiyar. pic.twitter.com/wFKedFgViC
— ANI (@ANI) February 14, 2018
This wasn’t the first time that Mani Shankar Aiyar has said something condemnable and left his party red-faced. Prior to the Gujarat elections, he had called the Prime Minister “neech” which had elicited a strong response from all quarters and led to his suspension from the Congress Party. In 2015, he had sparked a huge controversy after he requested the Pakistanis to remove the Narendra Modi government and bring the Congress back to power if they wanted talks to continue during a panel discussion in Pakistan.