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Congress calls its leader’s comments at Lata as “regrettable”

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Congress party spokesman clarified party’s stand and reiterated his party’s respect for the veteran singer

congressNew Delhi: Congress today snubbed its Mumbai unit chief Janardan Chandurkar’s controversial remarks that the country’s highest civilian honour should be taken back from those who praise “communal forces”.

The matter involves comments which Chandurkar had made — without, however, taking any names — over remarks attributed to renowned singer Lata Mangeshkar that she wanted to see Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi become Prime Minister.

Party spokesman Randip Singh Surjewala told reporters that the statement by Chandurkar was “regrettable”. “We do not subscribe to such remarks by any leader, much less a Congress leader. We all love and respect Lata Mangeshkar and we respect her artistic creativity,” he said.

The above reaction came close on the heels of alleged remarks by Chandurkar at a recent function in Mumbai, where he said: “All awards and honours bestowed on those who are praising communal forces should be withdrawn.”

Mangeshkar is a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian award. Although Chandurkar clarified that he did not name anybody in his comments, his reference is being taken as having been to Mangeshkar and her reported endorsement of Modi, the BJP’s candidate for prime minister. At a recent function in Pune, Modi had found an ardent supporter in Mangeshkar, who said she would like to see him taking the top job in the Union Cabinet.

After Modi had inaugurated a new hospital complex named after the singer’s late father, Deenanath Mangeshkar, she had said, “Narendrabhai is like my brother. All of us want to see him become Prime Minister. On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, I hope our wishes come true.”


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