The Congress vice-president had recently claimed that Pakistani intelligence agencies were trying to lure some of the victims of Muzaffarnagar communal violence towards terrorism. (Agencies)
Khurshid strongly defends Rahul's statement, saying it was a ‘wake up call’ and the attack on a statement made with care and concern is totally unacceptable.
"I feel a tremendous sense of dismay and distress that a public announcement made with sensitivity and seriousness expressed by way of a concern should be treated by BJP this way,” Khurshid said.
"It is not an endorsement, it is a wake up call based on tragic and serious incidents. If people don't understand, please come and ask us. Don't jump to conclusions. It should be seen in a historical context so that what is said you will understand", he told a news channel.
Khurshid rejected the suggestion that Rahul Gandhi and Congress were adopting a communal pitch.
"To say that BJP will make its campaign and to avoid any reference to communalism is asking for moon. Modi's attack shows some element of desperation. The level of discourse has been lowered by Modi which has to be condemned," he said.
Modi, speaking at a meeting in Jhansi on Friday had attacked Gandhi for saying that ISI was in touch with Muslim youth of Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar and asked him to reveal the identity of such persons or apologize publicly for leveling ‘serious allegations’ and ‘defaming’ the entire community.
Khurshid also dismissed questions being raised over an intelligence official talking to Gandhi about Muzaffarnagar issue, saying various people meet elected representatives.
Similarly, an intelligence officer may have shared some information with Gandhi, who is an MP and Vice President of a ruling party, by way of an assessment which (if not detected) could lead to a disaster.
"It is a wake up call. He (Rahul) should be welcomed for giving such suggestions instead of being attacked."
On being asked about Rahul Gandhi's projection as Prime Ministerial candidate, Khurshid said, "We accept him as leader and we want to see him in the highest office of the country. We will wait for his decision. I don't think we should be saying things which are not aligned the way he has approached (the issue)."
On being asked about NCP leader Sharad Pawar's advice that Rahul should gain administrative experience by becoming a minister before he becomes Prime Minister, the External Minister said that such doubts were not raised when the late Chandrasekhar became Prime Minister without having occupied any public office before.
On being questioned about the continuing ceasefire violations despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, Khurshid said that the Prime Minister is determined to resolve the issue but it is not an easy job.
The Congress vice-president had recently claimed that Pakistani intelligence agencies were trying to lure some of the victims of Muzaffarnagar communal violence towards terrorism.