New Delhi: The Congress on Friday distanced itself from party general secretary Digvijay Singh's claim about Batla House encounter being a “fake” one after Home Minister P Chidambaram's assertion that it was genuine as the Opposition mounted attack on the party accusing it of doublespeak on the issue.

To repeated questions on Digivijay's remarks, the Congress spokesperson merely said, “He is not only general secretary but also a senior leader. There is inner democracy in the party.”

"Congress supports government's stand on Batla House encounter," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said when asked whether the party was with the Prime Minister and Home Minister on the issue.

Alvi, however, said it was a ‘sensitive’ issue on which there are different views and hence there should be no politics on it.

Digvijay had earlier said that he always believed that Batla House encounter was fake but did not press it further as both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram believed the encounter was genuine.

"I stand by the opinion I formed two-three days after the encounter after knowing all the facts. I stick to my stand on it," he said on Thursday when asked about Chidambaram's disagreeing with his contention that the 2008 encounter was fake.

Singh recalled that he had also approached Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a judicial probe into the incident following which an inquiry by NHRC was conducted but during the investigations, the ‘aggrieved parties were not called, which was not proper’.

Chidambaram had termed the encounter as genuine.  “I respect Digvijay's views. But whichever authority has probed the encounter says it was genuine. There is no scope for reopening the matter," Chidambaram said.

Lambasting Congress for its ‘conflicting remarks and double speak’ over the issue, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “If the Congress believes the Batla House encounter was fake, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should sack Home Minister P Chidambaram from the Union Cabinet.

JPN/Bureau