AHMEDABAD: A Gujarat minister, who had recently switched from the Congress to the BJP, Saturday was in the eye of a storm for tongue-lashing journalists.
Jawahar Chavda, former Congress MLA from Manavadar seat and current minister in the Vijay Rupani government, told a public gathering that journalists pestered him with queries on why he switched sides.
Addressing a gathering in Rajkot, he said, "Journalists still ask this question as to why he (referring to himself) left Congress to join BJP, why you joined BJP, what was the grievance. I said taara baap (your father, referring to himself) never had any grievance."
A video clip of the incident went viral on social media platforms, following which Chavda apologised, but at the same time accused the media of being selective in its reportage.
"I apologise. My intention was not to hurt anybody. But my biggest question is you showed only three seconds of my twenty minute speech," Chavda contended. Congress leaders Alpesh Thakor and Hardik Patel criticised Chavda for his utterance against the media.
"Journalists ask questions and discuss things that do not concern them directly. If you are praised in the media, then you should also learn to accept negative comments," said Thakor.
Patel said Chavda should think about the post he holds before using such words against journalists.
"One can be angry with the media, but the word he used is not right. You can discuss the grievance with the media one-on-one, but making comments about parents from a public platform is unfortunate. He should have respect for the post of minister. He has anger for media," Patel said.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said the matter should be laid to rest as Chavda had apologised.
"Jawaharbhai has apologised. Such words are not right. He has said his intention was not to hurt anybody. I believe the matter ends here," Pandya said.
A four-time MLA from Manavadar, Chavda had on March 8 resigned from the Assembly to join the BJP, after which he was made a cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani government.