Congress demands apology from BJP for MP saying Christians never participated in freedom struggle
BJP MP Gopal Shetty, on other hand, stayed firm on his statement saying that he has said nothing wrong and a part of a sentence in his speech was being distorted by the Congress for political gains.
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Friday demanded an apology from the BJP after a controversy erupted over a speech of BJP MP Gopal Shetty, where he alleged termed the Christian community as Britishers and said that the community never participated in India freedom struggle.
Shetty, on other hand, stayed firm on his statement saying that he has said nothing wrong and a part of a sentence in his speech was being distorted by the Congress for political gains.
Shetty, who is a former president of party's Mumbai unit, also offered to resign after he was allegedly pulled up for his statement by senior party leaders. However, other party leaders managed to convince him not to do so.
While addressing a gathering at an iftar party at Malvani near Malad on Sunday, Shetty allegedly said that the Christian community had no role in India's freedom struggle. "While Muslim and Hindu communities contributed immensely to freedom struggle the Christians being British had no role in it," he appears to be saying in a video clip of the program.
Reacting to it MPCC president Ashok Chavan demanded that BJP should apologise for Shetty's statement."Shetty's statement reflects despicably communal mindset of the BJP. Freedom struggle is the epitome of sacrifices made by all communities including Christian.
Shetty must know that only Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was in support of British," Chavan said in his tweet. In his clarification, Shetty said that he was just referring to what his earlier speakers at the event had said and stated that a sentence in his speech was being distorted for political gains.
He also confirmed that he had offered to resign if the party was in trouble because of him.Chief spokesperson of the state BJP Madhav Bhandari refuted claims that Shetty was admonished by senior party leaders in Delhi.
Bhandari met Shetty on Friday apparantly to convince him not to resign from his post.Bhandari also diatanced the party from Shetty's speech calling it his personal opinion and saying that 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' is the official line of the party when it comes to issues regarding communities.