Bhopal: Refuting the media reports that Congress high command had sought an explanation from him on his controversial statement on Osama Bin Laden’s burial, Congress General Secretary, Digvijay Singh said he has not received any such instruction.

Singh, however, dismissed as "absolutely rubbish" reports that he was summoned by Sonia Gandhi in the wake of his statement on the sea burial of Laden.

Singh said he had gone to Gandhi's official residence at 10 Janpath for a meeting in which many senior leaders including Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Suresh Pachauri were also present. "My statement was not discussed. It is absolutely rubbish," he said.

The Congress stalwart added "I strongly and totally deny those reports according to which the Congress High Command was not happy with the statement I had made on Laden's burial at sea."

Noting that his statement should not be interpreted as something against or for Osama, Singh said, "I had merely said that the even the worst of criminals should be cremated according to their faith.”

"Osama is a terrorist and he deserved the treatment that he got", Singh said, adding that no one in the party had asked him to explain his statement nor anyone had summoned him.

Singh on May 2 had said, "However big a criminal one might be, his religious traditions should be respected while burying him." Some reports also said Singh had made the statement with an eye on the Muslim votes ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, due early next year.

Congress on Tuesday distanced itself from Singh's controversial remark. "We disapprove of it," a top party functionary, who declined to be named, said after Congress President Sonia Gandhi had a meeting with party leaders including Singh.

A senior Congress leader speaking on the condition of anonymity, however, questioned Singh's contention, remarking sarcastically, "Was Osama engaged in some noble work?" He said, "Singh speaks unnecessary things many times. It is not good to promote personal constituency always. It does not succeed. Muslims do not get pleased by such things. Such statements are taken as communal. It is not good to go out and speak on every issue."

Congress had given an indication of its disapproval of Singh's remarks earlier when its spokesman Manish Tewari parried questions on whether Singh's statement on Laden's burial is the official party view.

"On the question of Laden and terror per se, we have repeatedly cleared our position. The position of Congress has been very clearly articulated .We have nothing further to say on the articulation (of the party) on the neutralization of Laden after what we said yesterday," he said. Tewari added, "If you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind", adding that he was making this observation in relation to all terrorists and terrorist organizations.

The US has maintained that the body was handled in accordance with Islamic practices and tradition. The burial at sea was apparently due to fears that his land burial may become a site to attract his followers. However, some Islamic organisations have said that it was not appropriate.

(Agencies)