Union Minister Ravishankar Prasad today took a potshot at Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh and said he was "not taken seriously by his own party members" as he reacted to his jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi in light of US President Barack Obama's pitch for religious tolerance.
Briefing reporters after a meeting of the Union Cabinet to greet the Prime Minister for his initiative after the "successful visit" by Obama, Prasad said, "Digvijay Singh is not taken seriously by his own party leaders" as he responded to the Congress leader's comment that Modi should take note of the US President's exhortations.
The Union Law Minister was asked to comment on Singh's remarks yesterday in which he had wondered whether Modi "would take his friend Barack's advice and ask his friends in VHP to shut up and request (RSS Chief) Mohan Bhagwat to stop justifying 'Ghar Vapsi (religious re-conversions)".
"You are doing an injustice if you ask a Cabinet minister of the Government to India to respond to remarks of a leader whose statement is not taken seriously by his own party.
"Let Congress party first declare that Digvijay's stand is the party's stand. He keeps on saying irrelevant things," Prasad told reporters.
Talking about the meeting today, he said, "All members of the Cabinet greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his initiative for the successful India visit of the US President ... After a long time, America recognised India as a global power on parity," the Union Minister said.
Downplaying the controversy over Obama's statement that India will succeed so long as it was not "splintered along the lines of religious faith", the Union Minister said that the most important part of the US President's speech was the reiteration of India's success as a democracy.
Utilising the handle given by the US President, Congress today targeted Modi and questioned if he will "look within" and do the course correction by checking the "lumpen elements" within the Sangh Parivar.
In his speech yesterday before winding up his three-day visit to the country, Obama had said that India will succeed so long it is not "splintered" on religious lines.