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“Do they think resignation can erase…?”: Giriraj demands Sonia, Rahul apology over Pitroda’s racist rant

New Delhi: The massive political row over former Indian Overseas Congress chairperson Sam Pitroda's racist rant against Indians in an interview refused to die down on Thursday, with Union Minister Giriraj Singh demanding that Congress heavyweights Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi extend an apology to the country.
Expanding on the country's pluralistic character and how it was a melting pot of people from different ethnicities, Pitroda, in an interview with The Statesman, said those inhabiting the country's East look like 'Chinese' while those living down South bear resemblance with 'Africans'.
Faced with fury and criticism from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP, as well as a cross-section of Opposition leaders, Pitroda stepped down as the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress.
His resignation was accepted by Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge, with party general secretary Jairam Ramesh clarifying that Pitroda took the decision on his own accord.
However, unsparing in his attack on the grand old party, Giriraj told ANI on Thursday, "I demand that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi apologise to the country for Pitroda's obnoxious and racist comments. They (Congress) are out to destroy the country's character, the singular trait that makes us unique. I want to ask the Congress: do they think the resignation of Sam Pitroda alone can erase the stain that they have put on the country's image?"
"The mantle of destroying our country and dividing the people passed from the Britishers to the Congress. First, they tried to separate Hindus from Muslims and then they created an imaginary North-South divide. Now, they are trying to differentiate the people, who are all proud Indians, on the basis of their skin tone. The people wouldn't tolerate such abuse. The Congress believes only in diving the society and creating chasms between people," the Union Minister told ANI.
In his interview, Pitroda said, "We have survived 75 years in a very happy environment where people could live together, leaving aside a few fights here and there. We could hold a country together as diverse as India, where people in the East look like Chinese, people in the West look like Arab, people in the North look like white and maybe people in the South look like Africans."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP's all-out attack on the grand old party, calling it 'racist' and urging people to give a befitting reply to such insults on the basis of their skin tone.
Shehzade (Rahul) aapko jawaab dena padega (Rahul, you will have to answer for this). My country will not tolerate such disrespect of our people on the basis of their skin tone and Modi, of all, will never take this lying down," PM Modi roared at a rally at Warangal in Telangana.
"There is an uncle in America, who is the philosopher and guide of the Shehzada. Just as a third umpire guides the on-field umpires in cricket, so does Rahul seek advice from his third umpire from time to time," PM Modi said.
Pitroda, earlier, courted controversy after advocating the introduction of an inheritance tax in the country along the lines of the US.
Amid the row over the Congress' alleged promise of a nationwide wealth survey and redistribution, Pitroda expanded on the idea saying, "In the US, there is something called inheritance tax. If a person has appropriated wealth to the tune of USD 100 million, then, as per the rule here, he can only leave behind 45 per cent of his assets for his dependants and children while the State will stake claim to the remaining 55 per cent. It is an interesting law, which says you should leave behind one-half of your total assets or wealth for the State, which to me sounds fair."
"In India, there is no such tax. If somebody worth 10 billion dies, his children stand to inherit all the wealth that he leaves behind and the people get nothing. Such ideas need to be debated and discussed. When we talk about redistributing wealth, we are talking about new policies and programmes that are in the interest of the people and not of the super-rich," he added.

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