In what comes as a major embarrassment to Rahul Gandhi, his 'Masood Azhar Ji' comment has not gone down well with the top Congress leadership which has resulted in a difference in opinion among the party leaders, sources told Republic TV on Tuesday.
In the crucial time of elections when the polls are hardly a month away, Congress leadership has expressed discontent with Rahul Gandhi's comments on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar regarding him as 'Masood Azhar ji' in his public address in Delhi on Monday. Responding to Rahul Gandhi's comments, top leaders in the party have said, "We are always in damage control mode", sources told.
Furthermore, sources also told that some top Congress leaders have also threatened to resign in the aftermath of such a controversial statement made by their party chief Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi on Monday honoured Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, by referring to the terrorist leader as 'Masood Azhar Ji' in a rally. Further in his remarks, he also attacked the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government over the release of Masood Azhar in exchange for the safe return of the passengers of hijacked plane IC-814 in 1999.
Rahul Gandhi's precise words, while speaking about the dastardly February 14 Pulwama terror attack, are:
"40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives. Who was responsible for the bombing? Listen, it was Jaish-e-Mohammad. Masood Azhar. Do you remember? Now, the one who has 56-inch chest, do you remember that during his previous government, the Security Advisor Ajit Doval sat with Masood Azhar Ji in an aircraft and handed him over to Kandahar."
This has come days after Congress General Secretary from Bihar Dr Binod Sharma resigned from the party over the continuous demand of party leaders for proof from the Centre on the IAF Air Strike on the JeM terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot.
In his resignation letter to AICC president Rahul Gandhi, he condemned the demands of proof on IAF air strike by Congress leaders terming it as shameful and childish.