AGRA: Senior Congress leader and former law minister Salman Khurshid has stirred a controversy by saying that his party’s hands “are stained with the blood of Muslims”.
The former Union minister made the controversial remark during an interaction session with students at Dr BR Ambedkar Hall in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Khurshid, while replying to a question by a former AMU student, Amir Mintoee, on the series of communal riots that happened during the decades of Congress rule said, “There is blood on our hands too.”
“I am a part of Congress. So, let me accept that we have the blood of Muslims on our hands,” Khurshid added when students pointed out that MIntoee was referring to the Congress party as a whole.
“I understand why you are asking this question. You are telling us that if someone attacks you now, then we (Congress) must not come forward to protect you. I am telling you this: we are ready to show the blood on our hands so that you understand that you too must not get blood on your hands,” Khurshid said.
“If you attack a community, you are the ones who get stains on your hands. Learn something from our history and don’t create such a situation for yourself, where if you come back to AMU after 10 years you will find someone like yourself who will ask this kind of question,” the former minister said.
Khurshid told TOI on Tuesday that his statement had been misconstrued. “I could have simply not answered the question but did so to drive home a point that even if we (Congress) have some bloodstains on our clothes or if we have committed some mistakes, we still have the right to stand up for minorities,” he said.
Congress leader PL Punia, however, said that the party does not support Khurshid’s statement. “Before and after Independence, Congress has been the only party which has worked towards building an egalitarian society by carrying all sections of people together. As these intrinsic foundational values are under attack today by the Modi government, all leaders must remember that such unfounded statements only help the cause of those in power today who seek to divide society on caste and communal lines to retain power at any cost. The party disagrees with Khurshid’s statement in toto,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
AMU alumnus Mintoee said that he had asked the Congress leader how minorities could trust a party under whose watch several communal riots had happened. “I pointed out to him that the first amendment (in Constitution) was made in 1948, which was followed by Presidential order in 1950 that saw communal riots in Hasanpura, Maliana and Muzaffarnagar. I further told him that there is a long list of riots that happened under the Congress regime, including the ones after the demolition of Babri Masjid,” said Mintoee.