Sonia should apologise over Dikshit's 'gunda' remarks: BJP

Sandeep Dikshit dubs Army chief 'sadak ka goonda', apologizes

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI that the Indian National Congress has deep respect for the Army Chief and armed forces of India and has advised Sandeep Dikshit to desist from making such comments.

After Dikshit likened army chief Bipin Rawat to a "goon on the street", the BJP demanded his expulsion and an apology from Sonia Gandhi. Mr Gandhi added: "I want to make it clear that (for us) the Indian Army defends the country. and so no statements should be made against the Army". His remarks had stirred a controversy with him as well as the party receiving backlash.

While Dikshit offered an apology for his remarks, the BJP on Monday demanded an apology from Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well. Under severe fire, Dikshit retracted his remarks and apologised through a tweet.

Dikshit on Sunday said, "Ours is not a mafia army like in Pakistan which makes statements like goons on streets. This is absolutely wrong", he said, addressing a Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee meeting in Bengaluru. According to the agency, Afzal said that he didn't know why Sandeep Dikshit used such language. Congress functionaries had repeatedly made comments which targeted institutions, the minister said.




He was reacting to General Rawat statement where he had said - "See, I am an Army officer, just anything can not affect me".

He had claimed there had been a consistent effort by the Congress to malign the Indian Army.

However, the Congress Party was quick to distance itself from the remarks of Dikshit, who, following criticism, was forced to withdraw his remarks and apologise. "The aspersions they cast, the shaming, the choice of words they would make - not just now, but since the time of the Batla House encounter are to demoralise the Army", she said. Politicians should not comment on the Army Chief. "But it feels bad when our own army chief speaks like a "sadak ka gunda" (roadside thug)".

General Rawat, in a recent interview to PTI, had defended Army Major Leetul Gogoi's act of tying a Kashmiri man to his jeep and using him as a "human shield" against stone-pelters in the Valley.

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