Azamgarh (UP)/New Delhi:  Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid found himself at the centre of a controversy on Friday over his remarks that pictures of Batla House encounter had brought tears to the eyes of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Khurshid, who raised the controversial encounter during an election meeting in Azamgarh on Thursday in an apparent bid to woo Muslim voters, on Friday backtracked asserting he did not say that Sonia cried and he had only stated that she became "emotional".

"You have twisted my words out of context. I didn't say she(Sonia Gandhi) cried, I said she became emotional. She said the matter should be probed," Khurshid said when asked about his remarks on Congress president's reaction.

At an election meeting on Thursday, Khurshid said, "I was not a minister at that time but still took the issue of the Batla encounter to Sonia Gandhi and she had tears in her eyes." The Minister also said she had asked him not to show her the pictures.

Khurshid's party colleague Digvijay Singh rejected his contention. "Soniaji never cried. These are Salman Khurshid's words," he said.
     
Singh has previously questioned the authenticity of the encounter that occurred on September 19, 2008 in New Delhi and left Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chandra Sharma and two Indian Mujahideen terrorists dead.

Hours before electioneering for the second phase of UP Assembly elections came to an end, Khurshid said the Congress chief told him to take the matter to the government and the matter reached till the stage of judicial enquiry but since it was the time of Lok Sabha elections the issue went to court.

BJP utilised Khurshid's remarks to ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "break his silence" and clear the clouds over the "sensitive" issue.

Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury said she had spoken to Khurshid who mentioned that he had been misinterpreted.

Parvez Hashami, Congress leader from Delhi, said, "She (Sonia) didn't cry, she was worried. At least I didn't see her cry, if Khurshid did, he can tell when and where he saw her cry. She wanted it to be investigated."

(Agencies)