BJP shuns Joshi’s apology for casteist remark, asks Rahul to express regret


JAIPUR: Rejecting Congress leader C P Joshi’s apology for his casteist remarks, the BJP on Friday said party president Rahul Gandhi must take responsibility and express regret.

Stressing that Joshi had “insulted the Indian culture as well as the Hindu religion”, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi accused the Congress of “dividing every religion for power”.

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“The statement of Congress leader (Joshi) is baseless, wrong and condemnable. It reflects that the Congress doesn’t know the history of Indian culture and Hindu religion,” Trivedi said at a press conference.

Congress talks about politics of development but divides the society on the basis of caste and religion… The party has divided every religion for power and such negative outlook has no place in politics, he added.

Addressing a poll meeting in Rajasthan on Thursday, Joshi had reportedly said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP MP Uma Bharti and Hindu activist Sadhvi Ritambhara were from “lower castes” and therefore, know nothing of Hinduism. He said it is the Brahmins who were learned and know of Hinduism.

As the statement caused a political furore, Rahul Gandhi on Friday clarified that the Congress leader’s statement did not reflect the ideals of the party, and urged the senior leader to apologise.

Joshi, a candidate in the December 7 assembly polls in Rajasthan, duly apologised in a tweet. “Respecting the Congress principles and feelings of party workers, I regret for my statement if it had hurt any section of the society,” Joshi tweeted.

However, an unimpressed BJP asked the Gandhi scion to apologise.

“We don’t want his (Joshi) apology… Rahul Gandhi should take responsibility and apologise for the remarks,” Trivedi said.

The BJP leader further accused the Congress of not only dividing the society but also the resources of the country.

“The Congress leader’s statement has not only insulted Indian society but Hindu culture as well,” Trivedi said.