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Sam Pitroda reappointed as Indian Overseas Congress chairman

Pitroda, who is considered close to Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi and organised his foreign tours, had resigned on May 8 after he compared north-east people with Chinese, south with Africans, west with Arabs and north Indians with white while trying to describe India's diversity.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 14:36 IST

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Sam Pitroda was back as Indian Overseas Congress chairman on Wednesday, within 50 days of his resignation from the post after his effort to depict India's diversity invited accusations of making a racist statement.

In a one-line statement, Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal said, "Congress president has reappointed Sam Pitroda as Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress with immediate effect."

Explaining the rationale behind Pitroda's reinstatement, Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh said that some statements and comments made by Pitroda during Lok Sabha campaign were totally unacceptable to the Congress and Pitroda has assured the party that he would refrain from making such statements in future.

"By mutual consent he stepped down as Chairman of Overseas Indian Congress. Subsequently he clarified the context in which statements were made and how they were later distorted by the Modi campaign. The Congress President has reappointed him on the assurance that he will not in future leave room for such controversies to arise," he posted on 'X'.

Pitroda, who is considered close to Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi and organised his foreign tours, had resigned on May 8 after he compared north-east people with Chinese, south with Africans, west with Arabs and north Indians with white while trying to describe India's diversity.

This statement came days after his remarks on 'inheritance tax' was used by the BJP to target Congress during the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress had “completely dissociated” itself from Pitroda's remarks on both the occasions with General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh saying the analogies drawn by him to illustrate India's diversity were “most unfortunate and unacceptable”.

Pitroda had said in an interaction with a newspaper in May, “we are a shining example of democracy in the world. We could hold a country together as diverse as India where people in the East look like Chinese, people in the West look like Arab, people in North look like maybe white and people in South look like African. It doesn't matter, we are all brothers and sisters.”

He added, “we all respect different languages, different religions, customs and food. That's the India that I believe in, where everybody has a place and everybody compromises a little bit.”

During 2019 Lok Sabha polls too, Pitroda's comments on Balakot surgical strike and wealth tax had created trouble for Congress. His 'hua toh hua' on anti-Sikh riots also triggered a controversy.

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Published 26 June 2024, 14:36 IST

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