Saharanpur: Congress candidate from Saharanpur Imran Masood, who has been embroiled in a controversy over his reported statements to chop BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi into pieces, today expressed regret over the issue.
At a press conference here, Masood claimed the footage being shown on TV channels was six months old.
A video footage of the election rally in Saharanpur which shows Masood attacking the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate has also gone viral on the web.
"If Modi tries to make Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat, then we will chop him into tiny pieces. I am not scared of getting killed or attacking someone. I will fight against Modi. He thinks UP is Gujarat. Only 4 per cent Muslims are there in Gujarat while there are 42 per cent Muslims in UP," he had said in the footage.
The statement led to an FIR being filed against him by police besides sparking an outrage. Congress distanced itself from the remark, saying it abjures violence whether of language or otherwise while BJP condemned it as inflammatory and dragged Congress chief Sonia Gandhi into the controversy.
"The message intended in the statement was to teach Modi a lesson in politics. In western Uttar Pradesh, such language is common, but wrong meaning is being made out of my statement," Masood told the press conference today.
Stating that he and Congress do not believe in violence, he said people of Saharanpur district are witness to the brotherhood and peace here, for which I am equally responsible as other political leaders.
Despite several attempts of communal forces to provoke riots, Saharanpur has remained peaceful due to his efforts, Masood claimed.
"I express regret for my six-month old statement, but Narendra Modi should also apologise for the Gujarat riots," Masood said.