Union minister Jairam Ramesh today says: "I didn't say Rahul Gandhi should apologise," adding that news channels "twisted my comments".
This comes after the Congress officially distanced itself from the minister's reported remarks yesterday, with the party spokesperson Meem Afzal saying that Gandhi has already clarified his statement in reply to the Election Commission (EC) and the party has also spoken about the issue:
"I do not know what Jairam Ramesh has said. But whatever he might have said may be his personal view. This is not the view of the party," Afzal said.
Yesterday, the minister was reported to have told some Urdu journalists that he totally agreed with their suggestion that Rahul Gandhi should apologise.
This is what he had actually told those Urdu journalists (rough English translation):
I cannot say what Rahul Gandhi will say or not say next. But if you are saying that Rahul should himself give a clarification, should himself apologise, I totally agree with you