Rejecting Congress leader C P Joshi’s apology for his casteist remarks, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday asked Rahul Gandhi to take the responsibility and express regret.
Accusing the Congress of “dividing every religion for power”, BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi alleged that Joshi had “insulted the Indian culture as well as the Hindu religion”.
Talking to media persons, Trivedi said that the statement of Congress leader was baseless, wrong and condemnable.
“It reflects that the Congress doesn’t know the history of Indian culture and Hindu religion,” he said.
“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 allegedly questioned the authority of BJP's "non-Brahmin" leaders to talk about Hinduism.
"They say a Congressi can't be a Hindu, who gave them the authority to issue certificates? Have they opened a university? If anyone knows about religion then its pandits/brahmins. They are just misguiding people by such moves. Uma Bharti is a Lodhi, and she talks about Hinduism, Modi ji talks about Hinduism. It is only Brahmins who don't talk about it. The country is being misled. Religion and governance are two different things. Everyone has the right practice their religion," Joshi said.
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.
(With PTI inputs)