“Remove Modi and get us back to resume dialogue,”

Mani Shankar Aiyer asks Pakistan to remove Modi to resume peace talks with IndiaRajya Sabha TV screengrab
news Mani Shankar Aiyar Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 18:35

Former cabinet minister and Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar has stuck to his stand.

 Aiyar categorically refused to apologise for his statements made on Duniya TV, a Pakistani TV channel earlier on Monday.

He told the anchor of an Indian TV channel, “I regret nothing, and won’t apologise for nothing,” on Tuesday. 

The Congress leader has stirred a controversy after he told a Pakistani TV anchor that dialogue between India and its neighbour could resume if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “removed”.

Speaking during a a panel discussion on the stalemate between the two countries over Kashmir on Tuesday, Aiyar suggested that the peace talks between the two countries can only begin if Narendra Modi is removed and Congress comes to power again at the centre. “Remove Modi and get us back to resume dialogue,” he said.

Shankar’s statement triggered a reaction from the BJP.  

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra  said, “It reeks of conspiracy. How can you say this to Pakistan? You are a former minister. This is a very serious statement by him. He should not only come out and apologise, he should also explain the meaning of the statement.”

Besides calling Aiyar’s remarks “absolutely appaling”, Patra demanded that Aiyar be sacked from the Congress party.

On Monday, Aiyar’s remarks on the Paris attacks appear to have embarrassed the party. He had said, “The anti-Islam phobia that is being carried out in the western countries should be stopped immediately. The Muslims living in France should be provided with the assurance that they are also citizens of the country." 

In an apparent bid to distance the party from Aiyar’s remarks, Congress leader Ajay Maken said, "We do not want to associate with Mani Shankar Aiyar. He should make statements after careful consideration. In no way, you can justify... It was an inhuman action in which so many people have been killed."

The copy has been updated

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