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Sam Pitroda resigns as Congress' Overseas Chairman amid row over his racist comment
Image Credit: Facebook/Sam Pitorda

Sam Pitroda resigns as Congress' Overseas Chairman amid row over his racist comment

| @indiablooms | 08 May 2024, 09:15 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: After creating a political storm with his 'diverse country' remarks, Congress veteran and overseas chairman Sam Pitroda Wednesday resigned from his post amid the mammoth seven-phase Lok Sabha election.

The announcement about Pitroda quitting was made by party's communications-in-charge Jairam Ramesh on X

"Mr. Sam Pitroda has decided to step down as Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress of his own accord. The Congress President has accepted his decision," the post read.

Days after triggering a row with his inheritance remark, Sam Pitroda has classified Indians and their looks regionally inviting jibes from the country's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the election season.

Speaking to The Statesman, Pitroda said, "... 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."

His comments were heavily criticised by the BJP leaders including PM Modi who attacked Rahul Gandhi, saying the country "won't tolerate disrespect based on the colour of skin".

Cashing in on Sam Pitroda's comments 'people in south look like Africans',  PM Modi dared DMK chief MK Stalin to cut ties with its ally Congress.

Will MK Stalin "dare to cut ties with the Congress," the Prime Minister questioned.

"They (the Congress) think people of northeast look like Chinese, South Indians look like Africans. I want to ask -- will the people accept comments like this? I want to ask Siddaramaiah -- is this ok? I want to ask the Telangana Chief Minister if he would accept. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who talks of Tamil culture. Will DMK have the courage to cut ties with the Congress for the sake of Tamil culture and heritage?" PM Modi said.

"The leaders of the Congress have divisive thoughts. The Congress mindset is to see the country in pieces. This is why the Congress leaders refuse to consider it one country and talk of division," PM Modi said.

The DMK response was quick, and nuanced. While Pitroda's comment was "unacceptable", he was not altogether wrong, it said. "PM Modi was silent when a BJP MP made similar statements in the past," the DMK said.

DMK spokesperson Dr SAS Hafeezullah said: "Sam Pitroda's stereotyping comments are unacceptable. But his core concept of diversity isn't wrong… That we are from different ethnic groups that united to form India is a fact. Sam Pitroda is nobody in India alliance, won't impact India Alliance's prospects."

The Congress hadearlier distanced itself from Pitroda's remark stating it does not reflect the standpoint of the grand old party, which has been out of party for 10 years now.

Congress communications-in-charge Jairam Ramesh posted on X, "Mr Pitroda expresses his opinions freely on issues he feels strongly about. Surely, in a democracy an individual is at liberty to discuss, express, and debate his personal views.

"This does not mean that Mr. Pitroda's views always reflect the position of the Indian National Congress. Many times they do not. Sensationalising his comments now and tearing them out of context are deliberate and desperate attempts at diverting attention away from Mr. Narenda Modi's malicious and mischievous election campaign; that is anchored ONLY in lies and more lies."


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