The Congress on Tuesday expressed displeasure at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s description of the “mela” in the party as a “circus.”
Party spokesperson Manish Tewari said: “Unfortunately, Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar has a reputation of being a loose cannon at the deck of Indian politics. He has been a member of the Congress for a fairly long time and such remarks are absolutely uncalled for.”
He was reacting to Mr. Aiyar’s remarks at a book release function likening the happenings around the residence of Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and the party headquarters to a circus.
At the AICC headquarters, party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi also disapproved of Mr. Aiyar’s remarks.
However, Mr. Aiyar on Tuesday sought to downplay his remarks, clarifying that “it was not the party but the mela at 24, Akbar Road (Congress headquarters) that I had described as a circus.”
As for party leader Satyvrat Chaturvedi’s “pertinent question,” he said, “I am neither the joker nor the trapeze artiste at the circus, but the caged lion.”
Mr. Aiyar said the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, used to laugh uproariously at these jokes and expressed hope that he “trusts the Congress has not lost its capacity to laugh at itself.”
At the function, he had said “those who have got their work done visit 10, Janpath [Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence], while those with some hope of getting their work done visit 23 [Congress chief’s Political Secretary Ahmed Patel’s residence], Willingdon Crescent.” “Those who have lost all the hope and are dejected come to 24, Akbar Road,” he had said. Hindu