As soon as the verdict came out in the 2007 Masjid blast case, acquitting the accused, Congress leaders started giving suo moto explanation, clarification and justification for their earlier stances and statements. Also, media persons have been interacting with the other Congress leaders to get their perspective of the development. Below are responses of some of them.
Digvijay Singh said he never accused anybody of terrorism, let alone saffron terror.
Chidambaram clarified, “I did not make any statement on saffron terror. I have been misquoted. Neither I nor Karthik made any statement”.
Manish Tiwari played safe saying “I have not read the judgement yet. Once I get a copy, I will study it and give my opinion.”
Mani Shankar Iyer, grinding his teeth said, “I hate that colour, the S-word. I don’t even want to say it from my mouth. Even in a negative way. Then how could I have ever said anything about it. No, no! For heaven’s sake, no. Some other colour, may be. But not that colour! In fact, I was in Pakistan at that time.”
Kapil Sibal said, “Whatever be the verdict, we will appeal against it in the higher court. I have time now to handle one more case.”
Shashi Tharoor referred to a copy of Oxford English Dictionary and said, “I said nothing, not even in error. But what is in a colour, terror is terror”.
Manmohan Singh, as usual, has not communicated anything so far, even after several attempts by reporters. Some reaction is expected in three to four days, as Sonia Gandhi is out of town.
Abhishek Sanghvi declined to comment on any matter, unless Arnab Goswami asks him on the Newshour. “He has almost forgotten me. I brush up all the newspapers everyday and keep myself ready for his program, but he does not invite me these days. If you want my reaction, come through Arnab”.
Sonia Gandhi’s opinion was rather interesting. “The case was heard in the anti-terrorism court. That is wrong. It should have been heard in the terrorism court. That is why the accused were let off. It is a BJP ploy”.
But the best and the most convincing defence came from the Congress party president, Rahul Gandhi, who said “I don’t know what colour saffron is. I don’t know what saffron is. Therefore I don’t know what colour saffron is. Saffron colour something I don’t know and therefore can’t recognize.” Then the media person who had approached him goaded him further, “Sir, but you ought to know saffron. Saffron is an important product of Kashmir. And Kashmir is where your grandfather’s family came from. It is geography Sir.” To which Rahul Gandhi smilingly replied, “You are wrong. It is not geography, it is history. My grandfather is from Italy.”