In a remarkable about-turn following his 'Jinnah is part of Congress family' remark triggering a big controversy, rebel BJP and now Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha said that it was a 'slip-of-tongue'. In an exclusive interview to Republic Media Network, Sinha said that a 'mere slip-of-tongue has been made an issue'.
In his usual poetic manner, Sinha said: "Zara si bat ka afsana bana diya. Mai Maulana Abul Kalam Azad kehna chah raha tha."
"You have created a ruckus of small thing. I wanted to say Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. I was in a flow, and there was this slight slip of the tongue. And for that you are saying all of these, for a nationalist like me, when you have nothing controversial to say about me, you are bringing this up. With due respect to one and all, it was a slip of tongue."
He continued, "I was saying this party belongs to Mahatma Gandhi to Vallabhbhai Patel to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to Nehru to Late Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. It is a party, they have played a significant role in the development of the country, in advancing the country, in country's freedom, and they have the most important role in this country and therefore I joined this party, this is what I wanted to say."
This isn't the first such faux pas Sinha has made in his short stint with the Congress. During his induction, Sinha had called a Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil the 'backbone of BJP' on the day he joined the party, which he later justified by saying that it was BJP's foundation day and made a case for a freudian slip.
While asked on the reason behind his multiple slips-of-the-tongue and over whether there was any resentment on his leaving the BJP, he said:
"You want us to fight within the Congress? I am here, I will not go back, first and probably last time I have joined the Congress, will not look back. But as I said - Kuch toh majburiyan rahi hongi, yuhi koi bewafa nahi hota" (There must have been some obstruction, nobody betrays without a reason)."
However, he did not respond on what he thinks about Pakistan's Quaid-e-Azam saying that in the election season he will only talk about election issues. On saying that leaders from the Congress party like Raj Babbar and Shaktisinh Gohil did not defend him, Sinha reiterated that there is no point of calling a slip-of-tongue a mistake.
"It's not an issue. I did not commit a crime or a sin. A slip of tongue is certainly not a sin. This was a slip-of-tongue."