SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON has apologised for joking that legendary Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi "ran a gas station down in St Louis".

New York Democrat Hillary made her gaff while on a political fund-raiser in Missouri, America, but quickly retracted her statement before using a famous Gandhi quote.

Hillary said, "No, Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader of the twentieth century. He said, 'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.'"

Yesterday, (6JAN04) Hillary officially apologised, saying, "I have admired the work and life of Mahatma Gandhi and have spoken publicly about that many times. I truly regret if a lame attempt at humour suggested otherwise."

CHRIS DUMM, spokesman for the INDIAN AMERICAN CENTER FOR POLITICAL AWARENESS, says, "It is an off-colour comment, one that is certainly upsetting. But, I think the senator's apology is genuine."

07/01/2004 17:04