February 13, 2009 8:45:28 pm
Months after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks to then US President George Bush that the people of India love him,Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi caused a flutter in political circles on Friday by saying that Bush should be given the Bharat Ratna.
Speaking at a FICCI function here,Singhvi said,”If there is a provision,he (Bush) should be given Bharat Ratna for his contribution to the Indo-US ties.”
While Singhvi later clarified that his remarks were made in a lighter vein and in a personal capacity as chairman of the Indo-US forum of parliamentarians,he drew flak from both his party colleagues as also the Opposition BJP.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said he expected the AICC spokesperson to be more careful even if such remarks were made in a personal capacity. “Such remarks,even if they are made in personal capacity,reflect on the party. Enemies of the Congress can interpret them differently and therefore he needs to be careful even if he speaks in a lighter vein,” said Ravi.
Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said,”They have a problem in giving Bharat Ratna to Atal Bihari Vajpayee but want to give it to Bush. This says something about their attitude.”
At a press briefing later,Singhvi sought to clarify,”You are trying to sensationalise a non-issue. The statement was in a personal capacity as the chairman of Indo-US Forum of Parliamentarians and in a lighter vein. I am not the recommending authority for Bharat Ratna.”
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