An embarassed Congress today distanced itself from its “defunct” mouthpiece in Mumbai as some articles in it criticised Jawaharlal Nehru’s Kashmir policy and alleged that Sonia Gandhi’s father was a “fascist soldier”.
“We have nothing to do with this publication. It was a defunct magazine that was trying to revive. That is not our mouthpiece. We have nothing to do with this publication. This magazine has not been associated with Congress,” party spokesperson Tom Vadakkan told reporters here.
Congress disowning remarks in the articles in the magazine “Congress Darshan” came in the evening capping a day-long controversy over the issue, which forced its editor and Mumbai party unit chief Sanjay Nirupam to apologise for the gaffe and sack the editorial content in charge of the magazine.
An unsigned write-up in the Mumbai unit’s journal, coinciding with the party’s 131st foundation day, blamed Nehru for “the state of affairs in Kashmir, China and Tibet” even as another article made controversial remarks on Sonia Gandhi, forcing Sanjay Nirupam to order an inquiry even as he claimed he was unaware of the content.
As the write-ups in the latest edition of the Hindi journal “Congress Darahsan”, published by Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC), left the party leaders in and outside Maharashtra squirming in embarassment, Sudhir Joshi, who looks after its editorial content, was sacked from the job.
Maharashtra PCC chief Ashok Chavan told PTI that Nirupam has tendered an apology and it was for MRCC to decide if a probe should be ordered into the faux pas or not.
Vadakkan said that Congress appointed Nirupam as MRCC chief and not editor of any magazine.
The AICC spokesperson distanced the party from Nirupam’s act of sacking the magazine editor.
“What does he do in his personal capacity is his responsibility. In his personal capacity, he can be editor of any magazine and decide to keep or sack any employee. The party has nothing to do with it,” he said.
In Delhi, Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Raj Babbar said that the issue should be seriously looked into.