Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi's controversial comment against Congress president Sonia Gandhi has upset the party
A furious Congress has demanded an apology from the ruling BJP after union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said at a public meeting that "Sonia Gandhi would cry all night" for a terrorist like Osama bin Laden.
"If a terrorist like Osama bin Laden is killed, then Sonia Gandhi will cry all night...will not sleep at all. If any terrorist is killed, it is instantly linked to religion," Mr Naqvi, minister of state for Parliamentary Affairs, said in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur on Saturday.
Mr Naqvi was labouring on the theme that the opposition "talks about secularism" but plays politics of religion.
The minister later told the news agency ANI that he was just reiterating what a senior Congress leader had said about his party president after the controversial Batla House encounter in 2008, when a Delhi Police team stormed an apartment building suspecting that terrorists were hiding there. Two alleged terrorists and a Delhi police officer were killed in the incident that sparked a huge political controversy when the Congress alleged that the encounter was staged.
"A Congress leader had said earlier that Sonia had cried all night when terrorist were killed in the Batla House encounter. I just reiterated it. You should know that when this controversial statement was made, we chose to stay away from it at the time.
But now a situation has risen where the Congress and their other allies are making desperate attempts to twist the words in their favour," Mr Naqvi said on Sunday.
Senior Congress leader PC Chacko said: "They think that by attacking Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders of the Congress party they can gain more popularity in their team. What he has said is completely ridiculous."