Today's Paper

No decision yet on Antulay

K.V. Prasad

“I am proud of what I have said and done,” says Minister

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday continued to grapple with the controversy over the remarks of Union Minister for Minority Affairs A.R. Antulay on the death of Maharashtra’s Anti Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare. The party is yet to decide on the resignation Mr. Antulay sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Congress core group met here and discussed the issue even as the Minister found support from party general secretary Digvijay Singh who felt there was nothing objectionable in what Mr. Antulay said.

However, Mr. Digvijay Singh’s comment in Varanasi has not gone down well with the party leadership and it is understood that a message was conveyed, informed sources said. The party spokesperson Manish Tewari on Friday stated that the Congress did not endorse what Mr. Antulay said.

Attends conference

Meanwhile, Mr. Antulay continued with his parliamentary work and attended a conference on the recommendations of Joint Parliamentary Committee on Wakfs inaugurated by Vice-President Mohd. Hamid Ansari here on Saturday.

Separately, Mr. Antulay told a television channel: “I am proud of what I have said and done. I have no regrets whatsoever.”

Asked whether he had played into Pakistan’s hands with his remarks, Mr. Antulay, in an interview to CNN-IBN Weekend Edition said he had never said that Karkare was not killed by a Pakistani terrorist.

“All I am saying is that why should a brave and outstanding officer like Karkare have gone to Cama Hospital instead of going to the Taj or Trident. How is asking a question like this playing into Pakistani hands? Why should Pakistan come into this debate at all?”

Rejects criticism

He rejected suggestions that his resignation was a drama or criticism that he was guilty of minority vote-bank politics, the channel said in a release. On charges that he had embarrassed the party leadership, Mr. Antulay said: “I have said what I believe, how is that embarrassing anyone?”