Now, Digvijay Says Never Blamed Hindu Terror

NEW DELHI, Dec 13(TOI): With no let-up in criticism from within and rivals, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh was constrained on Sunday to clarify afresh he never blamed 'Hindu terrorists' for the killing of former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare on 26/11.

"I never said right-wing activists were behind the terror attacks. But it is a fact that I am on record saying he (Karkare) was being threatened by some right-wing activists," Singh said. He substantiated his claim by saying: "I want to ask L K Advani and Rajnath Singh why they went to meet the PM after Sadhvi Pragya was arrested after the Malegaon blast. Why did Rajnath go to jail to meet her?" He also clarified that he had called Karkare on the fateful day and not the other way round.

Singh said he never blamed RSS for Karkare's killing, which was clearly the handiwork of Pakistani terrorists. He added his statement was a personal issue and had nothing to do with Congress.

The clarification came as BJP sought to fasten this controversial remark to Congress despite the latter's swift distancing on Saturday when the row started. BJP demanded an apology from Congress for weakening the country's case on the Mumbai attacks.

The unease bubbling in the party also hit the surface with two MPs, Sanjay Nirupam of Mumbai and Jagdambika Pal of UP, rebuffing the impression about a saffron terror angle to Karkare's killing. They hoped that Singh's clarification would settle the issue.

Meanwhile, AICC mouthpiece editor Anil Shastri said national security agencies demanded a probe into the conversation between Digvijay Singh and Hemant Karkare. It is to be seen if Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will touch upon 26/11 in her address to the parliamentary party meeting on Monday.

More than BJP's criticism, it was Kavita Karkare's strong denunciation of the statement made at the release function of a book, '26/11: An RSS Conspiracy', which caused consternation to Congress. Kavita had accused Singh of politicking on her husband's martyrdom by falsely claiming that just three hours before his death, he had told the Congress leader about the threat he faced for his Malegaon mosque blasts probe.

But BJP continued to pile on the pressure, with spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain saying: "Congress has to apologize to the nation for its general secretary's remarks and get him to resign... otherwise, it will mean they were instigating Singh to make remarks that trigger communal passions.


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