Amid controversies, Sam Pitroda resigns from the post of President of Indian Overseas Congress, Kharge accepts

Amid the ongoing controversy over his racist remarks, Sam Pitroda on Wednesday decided to resign from the post of President of the Indian Overseas Congress on his own will. His decision has been accepted by the national president of the oldest party, Mallikarjun Kharge. The dust had not yet settled on Pitroda’s ‘inheritance tax’ comment when the leader created a new problem for the grand old party with his latest comment on India’s diversity.

Pitroda, often considered a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, said that people in the east of India look like Chinese and people in the south look like Africans. This is not the first controversy sparked by Pitroda in recent years. Before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Pitroda said in a TV interview that the middle class should be prepared to pay higher taxes to guarantee a minimum income for all poor families, and asked them not to be “selfish”. Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram later had to clarify that if Congress returned to power, there would be no additional tax burden on the middle class.

The BJP had then launched sharp attacks on his comments on the Indian Air Force strike in Balakot and countering terrorism. Pitroda had said that the attack also happened in Mumbai. We could then react and send our planes. But this is not the right approach. Eight people (26/11 terrorists) come and do something, you don’t jump on the entire country (Pakistan). It is foolish to assume that just because some people came here and attacked, every citizen of that country will be held guilty.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when the BJP claimed that “instructions” for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots had come from Rajiv Gandhi, Pitroda denied the allegation but said what to say about 1984 now? Talk about what you did in the last 5 years. What happened in 1984 happened. But what have you achieved? Pitroda later apologized and Congress issued a clarification. In June 2023, Pitroda had said in the presence of Rahul Gandhi at an event in America, “We are facing problems of unemployment, inflation, education and health. Nobody talks about these things. But everyone talks about Ram, Hanuman and the temple. I have said that temples are not going to create jobs.”

Pitroda, the current president of the Indian Overseas Congress, had courted controversy by saying that the focus on Ram Temple over serious issues like unemployment “upset” him. The statement came days before the scheduled inauguration of the Ram temple on January 22. Sam Pitroda has been very close to Rajiv Gandhi. He is also called the pioneer of digital revolution in India.

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