NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday attacked the Congress for its decision to appoint Sam Pitroda as chairman of the Congress’ overseas unit, saying it implied that the party endorsed all the “objectionable and unsavoury” remarks made by Pitroda in the past.

BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla (PTI)

“With his reappointment, it is now very clear that the Congress subscribes to and endorses all the unsavoury, objectionable and inciting comments made by Sam Pitroda about Indians, Lord Ram, Ram Navami, Sikh genocide, Pulwama terror attack,” BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said on Thursday.

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Poonawalla’s remarks come a day after Pitroda was re-appointed to the position nearly two months after he resigned after triggering a controversy in May this year by referring to Chinese, Arabs, white people and Africans to describe the looks of people in India’s east, west, north and south, respectively.

Pitroda’s comments in an online interaction – while trying to describe the importance of India’s diversity – had exposed the Congress to sharp attacks by the BJP including PM Narendra Modi. “My country will not tolerate the disrespect of my countrymen on the basis of their skin colour. Modi will never tolerate this,” PM Modi said at a rally in Warangal on May 8.

The Congress had distanced the party from Pitroda’s comments. “The analogies given by Mr Sam Pitroda in a recent podcast to illustrate India’s diversity are most unfortunate and completely unacceptable. The Indian National Congress rejects these analogies,” Congress’s communications chief Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.

Ponawalla said it was clear that the Congress had distanced itself from Pitroda’s remarks “just to fool and mislead the people” of the country as his comments were “politically inconvenient” for the party during the elections.

“As soon as the elections are over and Rahul Gandhi is made the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the Congress reappointed Sam Pitroda as chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress as he is Rahul Gandhi’s mentor, advisor and ‘guru’,” Poonawalla said