The BJP on Thursday said that the issue of union minister Giriraj Singh's comments against Congress president Sonia Gandhi should be put to rest as the minister has expressed regret."The minister has expressed regrets over his remarks and the matter should now be closed," BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said in Bengaluru."The party has already clarified on the issue," he added.Party general secretary Ram Madhav earlier told reporters: "Giriraj Singh has clarified about his comment, matter ends."Reacting on the issue, Sonia Gandhi, first expressing ignorance of the remarks, declined to comment on people who have a "narrow mindset".
Singh had told reporters in Patna on Tuesday that he wondered if former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had married a woman who was not white-skinned, the Congress would have accepted her as its president. He later expressed regret over the comment.According to party sources, BJP president Amit Shah had spoken to Singh on Wednesday and pulled him up over the comments.However, Hussain said that Singh's remarks cannot be compared to the derogatory comments made on a TV show in 2012 by Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on BJP leader Smriti Irani (now the human resource development minister), which he defended again."It is not right to compare the two issues. That is Congress' culture... the kind of comments they give. Our party has expressed regret," Hussain said.Nirupam had told Irani: "Till yesterday you were dancing on television and today you have become a politician."