'Barbaric' act now catches Shinde's eye

Last Updated 30 May 2013, 22:29 IST

Senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde’s less-than-a-year stint as Union Home minister is rigged with controversies. His numerous gaffes are momentous. And so are his clarifications which he is considerate enough to give after blunders.

Besides his scandalous remarks such as introducing the country’s most wanted terrorist as ‘Shri Hafiz Sayeed’ and the BJP and the RSS are raising terrorists in their camps, the latest is about the ‘missing’ Shinde.

Having faced criticism for staying abroad when naxal terror struck Chhattisgarh wiping out most of the state Congress leadership, Shinde returned to national capital on Thursday.

The Maharastra politician attended the office in the afternoon and decided to face the media, raising uncomfortable questions on his prolonged official visit to the United States.

Walking straight into the press conference, Shinde, dressed in a crisp light mud-coloured shirt which was hanging over his trousers, read out in English a few lines scribbled on a piece of paper. “I strongly condemn brutal, barbaric and inhuman killing of innocent people which was an attack on our democracy.”

Interestingly, without any provocation, the minister spoke of his itinerary in the US which was a mix of official as well as private engagements. “I had led the delegation to the US at the invitation of homeland security from May 19 to May 23. After that the delegation returned to Mumbai. I had obtained previous permission to stay back from May 23 to May 29 because I had an appointment with Dr Bracellar who is internationally famous for treating eyes,” he explained.

He had an appointment with the doctor on May 28 as till a day before he (the doctor) was in Thailand.

His defence was silent on what he did from May 23 to May 28, besides what he stated was that there wea a three-day  holiday in the US owing to ‘Memorial Day’ on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 

Asked why did not condemn the Jagdalpur incident from the US itself using internet-based communication, Shinde said he was in regular touch with Home ministry officials and did not feel the need for issuing any statement from the US. “Those people who are interested only in statement, they can consider it (issuing statement),” he said.

(Published 30 May 2013, 22:29 IST)

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