New Delhi [India], February 24 (ANI): Amid strong criticism of Rahul Gandhi by BJP leaders over his remarks about his experience of representing seats in the north and south India, Congress leader Anand Sharma has said the former party chief can clarify in what context to he made the remarks that so that there is no conjecture or misunderstanding on the issue.
Sharma told ANI that Congress never resorts to "divisive politics" and every part of the country is equally important.
"It should be kept out of partisan political debate. There are many challenges before India and political leaders should focus and discuss those issues. Rahul Gandhi had made the observation perhaps sharing his personal experiences and not disrespecting any part of India or dividing. In what context he made that observation, surely he can clarify that so that there is no conjecture or misunderstandings of that issue," Sharma said.
"When it comes to the Congress party, it never divided the country. We don't believe in that. Each part of India is equally important. We respect that. The contribution has been made in the freedom movement by the leaders of all regions," he added.
Sharma, who is Deputy Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha, said north India has also contributed a lot in the country's development.
"We had front-ranking leaders of freedom struggle - Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Govind Vallabh Pant, Lala Lajpat Rai, just to name a few. There is a long list. After independence there have been illustrious PMs - Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Atal Bihari Vajpayee - they all represented the state of UP. Recently for 10 years, it was Dr Manmohan Singh from north India, so Congress has never disrespected a region. Whether we had a Prime Minister from north or south, that's not an issue," he said.
BJP leaders have slammed Rahul Gandhi over remarks "comparing" his present Wayanad parliamentary constituency to his previous Amethi seat. They also accused him of creating a "north-south" divide.
Sharma said there is no question of being disrespectful to Amethi.
"When it comes to the constituency of Amethi, we are grateful to the voters, we respect them. Amethi elected Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Capt Satish Sharma, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. So, there is no question of being disrespectful. That's not the philosophy of the Indian National Congress. We have believed in United India. We believe in an inclusive society and that thinking of Congress will always remain."
Rahul Gandhi, who addressed an event to mark the conclusion of 'Aishwarya Kerala Yatra' in poll-bound Kerala on Tuesday, said he had been MP for 15 years from the north and had been used to a different type of politics and coming to Kerala was very refreshing.
"For the first 15 years, I was an MP in the north. I had got used to a different type of politics. For me, coming to Kerala was very refreshing as suddenly I found that people are interested in issues not just superficially but they like to go into detail about issues," Gandhi said.
"I was talking to some students in the United States and I said to them I really enjoy going to Kerala. It's not just affection but the way you do your politics, the intelligence with which you do your politics. So, for me, it's been a learning experience and a pleasure," he added.
Rahul Gandhi had represented Amethi, a bastion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, for 15 years in Lok Sabha. He fought from two constituencies in 2019 and was defeated from Amethi but won from Wayanad in Kerala.