Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh on Tuesday demanded an apology from the Congress for its leader Sandeep Dikshit's comment likening Army Chief General Bipin Rawat to a "goon on the street".
Apologies and regrets expressed by individual leaders are not enough, said Singh, a former Army chief himself. "Congress as a political party should apologise for his (Dikshit’s) remark, which is inappropriate and condemnable."
The minister said the Army does not indulge in politics in any form and works for the nation with complete dedication and commitment.
"Army men engage themselves sincerely to safeguard the country's frontiers and keep the people secure…the controversial statement should be condemned by all," he told newsmen.
"I am deeply hurt by whatever has been said," he added.
Dikshit, an ex-Congress MP and son of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, had yesterday said: "Ours is not a mafia army like the Pakistani army which makes statements like goons. It looks bad when our Army chief gives a statement like a 'sadak ka goonda' (goon on the street)."
BJP has lashed out at the Congress over the statement and demanded Dikshit’s expulsion from the party. The Congress distanced itself from the remarks.
Dikshit later withdrew his statement and tweeted, "I have reservations on a comment of the Army chief, but I should have chosen appropriate words. I apologise."