8 May 2024

Sam Pitroda Steps Down Following Controversial Remarks, Congress Faces Backlash; What Jairam Ramesh & PM Modi Said?

Sam Pitroda, a longstanding figure within the Congress party and its overseas unit chief, has stepped down from his position amid escalating criticism and accusations of racism. His resignation comes in the wake of contentious comments he made during a crucial phase of the election season, sparking uproar across political circles. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with other BJP leaders, condemned Pitroda's remarks, accusing the Congress of fostering divisive ideologies.

The announcement of Pitroda's resignation was made via a brief statement on social media by Jairam Ramesh, the party's communications-in-charge, indicating that Pitroda had voluntarily decided to relinquish his role, a decision accepted by the Congress President.

In an interview with The Statesman, Pitroda's characterization of India's diversity sparked controversy, as he described physical appearances in various regions, drawing criticism for what was perceived as racially insensitive remarks. 

Pitroda had described India as a "diverse country... where people on East look like Chinese, people on West look like Arab, people on North look like maybe White and people in South look like Africa".

This added to the Congress's ongoing challenges, particularly concerning Pitroda's previous comments regarding inheritance tax, further straining relations with key allies like MK Stalin's DMK.

Cong distanced itself from Pitroda's remarks

The Congress swiftly distanced itself from Pitroda's statements, emphasizing that his views did not reflect the party's stance. Jairam Ramesh reiterated this stance in a statement, denouncing Pitroda's analogies as "unfortunate and unacceptable."

"The analogies drawn by Mr. Sam Pitroda in a podcast to illustrate India's diversity are most unfortunate and unacceptable. The Indian National Congress completely dissociates itself from these analogies," read a post from the party's communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh,

Insult to people of the country: PM

Earlier, PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday attacked Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over party leader Sam Pitroda's controversial remarks, saying that the latter's statement was an "insult to people of the country on the basis of their skin colour".

"I can tolerate it when abuses are hurled at me, but not when they are hurled at my people. Can we decide a person's merit based on skin colour?" he said while addressing a poll rally in Telangana's Warangal district.

"No matter what the colour of one's skin is, we are the people who worship Lord Krishna. I am very angry today. The people who keep the Constitution above their heads are insulting people on the basis of their skin colour," PM Modi said.

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