Bengaluru: In the aftermath of the BJP protests against the controversial ‘chappal’ remarks made by KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao and a barrage of comments on Twitter targeting the leader for having a soft corner towards the Muslims, Rao on Sunday tendered an apology for his choice of words while speaking about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
"Father of Unnao victim has died, the girl is threatening to immolate herself. What kind of governance is this? I, however, regret the kind of words I used for him (UP CM). This is an emotional & sensitive issue for me," Rao was quoted speaking to ANI news agency.
A Twitter war had ensued between the Congress and BJP following Rao’s remarks seeking chappals to be hurled at Yogi Adityanath.
Terming Adityanath as ‘Bhogi’ (pleasure seeker) Rao, on Saturday April 14 said that the Prime Minister should sack ‘unfit’ CM from his post for backing the Unnao rape accused. Speaking at a protest rally held for the Kathua and Unnao rape victims, Rao called for people of Karnataka to hurl chappals at Yogi, if he were to set foot on state soil by claiming that his visit would mean an insult to our state.
Reacting to his remarks on Twitter, BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje said that Gundu Rao was playing dirty politics by insulting a Hindu saint (referring to Yogi).
"Remember @dineshgrao keeping aside all your dirty tactics of politics by insulting @myogiadityanath who is a Hindu saint you insulted each and every Nath Parambare kannadigas ..#ShameOnYou," she tweeted.
No sooner did she tweet the Congress, on its IYC Twitter handle questioned Shobha since when Yogi become a saint
"Shobhakka, since when did @myogiadityanath become a saint! Do saints use the language that he does ? Do saints perpetuate violence in name of religion? Saints are our icons like Basavanna, Shishunala Sharifa, Balagangadarnath Swami and Shivakumara Swami," the IYC tweeted.
The war of words seemed to escalate with the state BJP unit remarking that Rao’s love for Muslims must not translate into hatred for Hindu saints.
"Mr Rao, your love for Muslims must not translate to hatred for Hindu saints. What were you thinking when you said Yogi Adityanath must be beaten with chappals? Hindu-Vokkaligas of K'taka hold him in high regard. You have insulted the entire community with your heinous comments!," the tweet read.
Responding to the tweets Rao slammed the BJP for drawing parallels between saints like Basavanna and others with Yogi considering his alleged criminal record.
"Please take a look at UP CM Adityanaths criminal record. I wonder how many Yogis and Saints have his track record. Should we still call him a Yogi? And why are you insulting our revered true saints of Karnataka & India by comparing them to Adityanath," he tweeted.
"UP CM Adityanath has totally failed his people. A victim of rape found no justice, she lost her father due to inhuman treatment by UP Govt & the CM who calls himself Yogi was trying to protect the accused BJP MLA. It’s not #RamRajya but #RavanRajya under #BhogiAdityanath," tweeted Rao stepping up his attack on the UP chief minister.
Netizens too disapproved of Rao's remarks and few even alleged that the leader had an obvious soft corner for the Muslims.
Meanwhile the BJP state general secretary has urged the Election Commission to lodge a case against Rao for the communal remarks made by Rao ahead of state elections.
Protests were also held in the state capital today (April 15) by BJP members condemning the remarks made by the KPCC working president.
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