Congress today voiced its discomfort over Jairam Ramesh' remarks that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the potential of emerging as 'India's Richard Nixon' in handling Pakistan and China, saying only the former Union minister can make it clear what he really meant.
"Jairam Ramesh is an intellectual, a political intellectual. Only he knows what he has said or written. You clear it by talking to Ramesh," party spokesperson Raj Babbar said at the AICC briefing.
"I do not know in what context, Jairam has said that," he said.
At the outset, Babbar said that Nixon was the only President of US who had to resign and against whom there was a major political scandal of Watergate during his tenure.
In an interview, Ramesh said that Modi in many ways is like Nixon who opened China to America.
"Modi could become India's Nixon when it comes to China or Pakistan," he had said, adding that had the UPA government invited Nawaz Sharif, it would have been criticised for feeding him biryani.
"But there is exchange of saris and shawls (now)...Had Dr Manmohan Singh done something pragmatic, BJP would have pounced on him. But if Mr Modi does something pragmatic we are not in a position to pounce on him," he had said.
The party had to earlier distance from its official spokesperson Shashi Tharoor's "Modi 2.0" remarks. He was criticised by the party for overtly praising Modi.
Taking objection to Ramesh' remarks, a senior party leader on a lighter note wondered if Modi was Nixon, whether Ramesh is his Henry Kissinger.
Kissinger served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under Nixon.