Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday explained why he apologised before the Supreme Court after attributing his "chowkidar chor hai" remark to the court and said it was only because the matter was sub judice.
"I apologised to the Supreme Court as the matter is sub judice. Any comment on the matter was unwarranted. Neither have I apologised to the PM nor the BJP," Rahul said in a press conference in New Delhi.
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"Also chor comment is now reverberated through out the country. The remark stands. Anywhere you go and prompt 'chowkidar' people will get back with 'chor hai'," he added.
He was responding to a question over his apology to the Supreme Court earlier this week, when he was pulled up by the court for his comment as well as his response to the court.
The apex court had pulled up the Congress President even after he verbally apologised and has given him a third chance to mend his action.
Pointing fingers at the BJP for being the one who allowed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar to return to Pakistan and carry out terror activities over the years, Rahul asserted his party will deal with terrorism sternly and strictly.
"Who sent him there (in Pakistan)? How he went there? Which government sent him? The BJP negotiates with terrorists and buckles under pressure. They bowed down before terror.
"It was not done by the Congress," Rahul said amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking credit for Azhar being designated terrorist by world body UN, and terror strikes to wipe out terror launch pads across the border.
The Congress leader said, "Masood Azhar is a terrorist and strict action should be taken against him."
He also asserted that the Congress will never negotiate with terrorists.
"Terrorism has to be dealt with sternly," he added.
He was responding to a question over Masood Azhar being declared a global terrorist by the United Nation Security Council.
The Modi government, while taking credit for getting Azhar blacklisted, should also tell the citizens that it was during a BJP regime that the JeM chief was released and he transformed into an even bigger threat to India, the Congress had said earlier on Thursday following the UN action.