A K Antony's remarks on minorities, especially Muslims, continued to create ripples with a senior party leader rejecting contentions that the party was appeasing minority communities.
"In 2009, 12 out of 28 Muslims got elected from Congress but only one found place in UPA II Ministry & that too as MOS. Is this appeasement ?," Anil Shastri wondered.
In another tweet he said, "All 4 Muslim CMs i.e. Antulay, Barkatullah, Gaffoor & Taimur (Assam) were appointed by Indiraji. After that it's been a full stop for 30 yrs."
He maintained there has been no appeasement of Muslims by the Congress.
"Incidentally, Congress has not given even one Muslim CM after Indira Gandhi," Shastri said.
Antony had said that some sections of society have an impression that the party is inclined towards minority communities.
Latching on to Antony's remarks, BJP patriarch L K Advani had said yesterday that his party stands vindicated regarding its position on the issue.
Addressing first-time BJP MPs on the concluding day of an orientation workshop here, Advani had said, "We should welcome this honest soul-searching by AK Antony for he is now saying what we in BJP have been saying all along.
"We have always said that secularism should mean justice for all, appeasement of none and discrimination against none".
Antony's confidant and KPCC president V M Sudheeran yesterday clarified his senior colleague's remarks were "Kerala-centric and well-intentioned".
Antony had said there had been a slight erosion in people's confidence in the party's secular commitment sparking a debate.
"Antony has made this comment with the Congress and the UDF it leads in Kerala in mind. These were well-intentioned and meant to guide the party and coalition in proper direction," Sudheeran had said.
While the party has tried to play down Antony's remarks as Kerala centric, sources said that a party general secretary had more than six months back communicated in writing to Antony himself in this regard.
He had expressed the apprehension that BJP will try to paint Congress as a pro-Muslim party and try to derive political mileage by deepening such an impression.
In another tweet, Shastri, said, "It's sad that Mistry was heckled in Gujarat & so was Jairam in another state. They must realise that workers are angry with senior leaders."