Digvijay Osama ache for Congress

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 4.05.11
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New Delhi, May 3: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh’s remarks that Osama bin Laden should have been buried in line with the traditions of his faith even if he was a terrorist have been greeted with reservations by his party.

The Congress is keen to ensure that such comments do not create a perception that the party harboured any sympathy for the slain terrorist.

Many senior leaders felt Digvijay’s remarks were uncalled for and that he need not speak on every subject. The party spokesperson also chose not to express any opinion on Osama’s sea burial.

Manish Tiwari parried questions on whether Digvijay’s remarks on Osama’s burial was the official party view, saying: “On the question of bin Laden and terror per se, we have repeatedly cleared our position. The position of the Congress has been very clearly articulated and delineated.”

Tiwari said: “If you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind,” adding that he was making this observation “in relation to all terrorists and terrorist organisations.

The party officially chose not to get dragged into a controversy at this moment when the larger cause of fighting terrorism was being debated everywhere.

Digvijay had said at a book release meeting yesterday that Osama deserved to be eliminated as he was a dreaded terrorist but advocated a proper burial. American officials had said Osama was given a sea burial after Islamic rituals.

Digvijay said it was “surprising” that Osama with his family was staying near the military academy of Pakistan and the government there had no idea about it. “Only America and Pakistan can say what had happened,” he said.

Party sources indicated that Digvijay’s comments did not reflect the party view. A senior leader said there was no point in dragging religious sentiments into the affair as Osama could not be seen as an Islamic leader and his identity was that of a terror monger.

Rumours had circulated about Sonia Gandhi summoning Digvijay to seek an explanation for his remark but sources said that they were not aware of such a plan. Digvijay met Sonia along with other leaders to discuss another matter, they said.

Digvijay also said: “My statement was not discussed. It is absolutely rubbish.”