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Digvijay Stands By Karkare Remarks, Never Doubted Pak Role In 26/11

PTI 12 Dec 2010, 22:12:17 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Dec 12 (PTI) As he came under fresh criticism from BJP, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh today stood by his Karkare remarks that the Maharastra ATS chief's life was under threat from right-wing groups but clarified he never doubted the role of Pakistani elements in Mumbai attack.Singh also trained his guns on BJP, maintaining that the opposition party lent its support to Hindu radical groups.

The BJP demanded that Congress force Singh to resign from the party for his "absurd" remarks that Hemant Karkare had told him hours before the 26/11 strike he feared  for his safety from Hindu extremists in the wake of the Malegaon blast probe.

Calling the remarks as "stupidity and idiotic", senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said the comments would only "please" Pakistan.

 Targeting BJP, the Congress General secretary said "I want to ask (L K) Advaniji and Rajnathji why they went to meet the PM after Sadhvi Pragya was arrested after the  Malegaon blast. Why did Rajnathji go to the jail to meet her? BJP has to answer these questions before they ask some to my Prime Minister."

Asserting that he had never doubted the role of Pakistani elements in Mumbai strikes, he said, "I also never said that right-wing activists were behind the terror  attacks.

But, it is a fact that I am on record saying that he (Karkare) was being threatened by some right-wing activists."

Trying to disassociate Congress party from the issue, Singh said, "its not a Congress party issue... the issue was a conversation between Digvijay Singh and Karkare".

Yesterday, Congress distanced itself from Digvijay's statement said the matter was "a conversation between two individuals".

Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said it is for Singh to elaborate or it is for him to confirm or deny.

Senior Congress leader Anil Shastri suggested that the purported hone call between Digvijay Singh and Karkare must be "probed" for the sake of national security.

  "It is necessary for national security to probe telecon between Digvijay Singh and Karkare even though latter was killed by Pakistani terrorists," Shastri tweeted.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the Congress should force Singh to resign.

 "Congress has to apologise to the nation for its general secretary's remarks and get him to resign," he said, adding "either Congress should take action against him or thrash his statements completely, not just distance itself from it." Senior BJP leader M M Joshi asked the Congress leadership to explain how a person like Digvijay Singh was holding the post of the General Secretary in the party.

 VHP All India General Secretary Praveen Togadia said Singh's remarks only amounted to him functioning as an 'agent of Pakistan'. PTI