New Delhi : Cornered on what he meant by “cameo”, union Law Minister Salman Khurshid Saturday said he knew the word to mean “something brilliant, like a gem, something that stands out” when he used it to describe Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s role in the party.
Speaking to journalists at his annual Aam Dawat party at his residence here, Khurshid was questioned persistently on what he meant by the word “cameo” he used to describe Gandhi’s role in an interview to a daily.
Denying that he ever meant the word in a flippant manner, Khurshid said: “Cameo means something that stands out, like a gem, something vivid…”
He also denied having said that the Congress was “directionless”, which word was used in the headline of his interview. “I never said that, I only said that we are waiting for directions,” Khurshid said.
He reiterated his support to Gandhi as the number two in the Congress party, which leads the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA). “He (Gandhi) is the number two leader in the party, and we all willingly and emotionally accept that.”
Khurshid also said that in UPA-II, the “political props have got mixed up”. Refusing to mention the Congress’ coalition partners and their pulls and pressures that have held up many major policy decisions, he said in UPA-I the “props were clearly laid out”.
“There was only the Left (which gave outside support to UPA-I), and when we crossed a certain political prop, we knew the result and were prepared for it. But in UPA-II, we just don’t know where the props are…Is it here? Have we crossed the line there?..We just don’t know.”
However, Khurshid denied any coalition trouble with Mamata Banerjee, the head of UPA’s major ally Trinamool Congress and chief minister of West Bengal.
Asked if Banerjee would support the UPA in the vice presidential elections, for which the Congress has nominated Vice President Hamid Ansari for a second term, Khurshid said the Trinamool chief had tied rakhi to Ansari a year ago. “That makes Mamata his rakhi sister, so…”
In an interview to the Indian Express earlier this week, Khurshid had said: “Until now, we have only seen cameos of his (Rahul Gandhi’s) thought and ideas like democratising elections to the Youth Congress. But he has not weaved all of this into a grand announcement. This is a period of waiting.”
After the comment was highlighted, Khurshid clarified on Wednesday, saying his comment should be seen in a “positive context” and not be misinterpreted.