New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday defended party leader Salman Khurshid over his “blood on party’s hands” remarks, saying he will allow “divergent views to flourish in the party”. He also attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), where he said only the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah held sway.
Addressing a ‘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. But sometimes there are divergent opinions in our party. “I want to give an 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.”
“The BJP President and Modi can never say such a thing 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 nor (party veteran L.K.) Advaniji is respected. Even their chief ministers will not be respected. “This is the difference between us and them,” he said. Khurshid on Monday triggered a controversy by saying that there was “blood on the hands of the Congress”, a remark later dubbed as “unfounded” by his party.
Gandhi also said both old and young leaders will be loved and respected in the Congress. “The worker may be 80 or 90 years of age, a leader may also be same age, he may also be an 18-year-old worker. You will all be loved. If anyone doesn’t show respect to you, I will take action against him,” he added.