A day after stirring controversy with his remark, Assam Health Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma said he had been quoted out of context and offered an 'unconditional apology' for any pain it might have caused.
Taking to Twitter, Sarma said,''I am pained at the unpleasant controversy created by people wanting to derive political mileage out of it. I tender my apology to all #cancer patients and their families who may have been hurt by this. I am also issuing this statement to clear & reiterate my stand.''
Earlier, Sarma had said that some people suffer from diseases such as cancer because of sins committed in the past and that it is "divine justice" have sparked sharp reactions.
"God makes us suffer when we sin. Sometimes we come across young men getting inflicted with cancer or young men meeting with accidents. If you observe the background you will come to know that it's divine justice. Nothing else. We have to suffer that divine justice," he said.
The remarks have evoked a strong response from various quarters including former union minister, P The Assam minister was criticised by several political leaders, including All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) leader and MP from Assam Maulana Badruddin, and Congress leader P Chidambaram.