New Delhi: A day after he courted controversy with his casteist slur at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Uma Bharti, the Election Commission issued notice to senior Congress leader C P Joshi, following a complaint by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Joshi has been told to reply by 11 PM on November 25.
On Friday, Joshi had apologised for his ‘only Brahmins could speak about Hindus’ remarks after being reprimanded by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rejected his apology for “insulting the Hindu religion” and asked Gandhi to sack him from the party.
“The comments made by the Congress leader (Joshi) based on caste, section and religion in an election rally are violation of the model code of conduct. So, a complaint has been lodged with the Election Commission,” BJP Rajasthan election cell convenor, Nahar Singh Maheshwari, said in a statement.
“There is fear of social unrest and hatred in society due to Joshi’s comments, so the Election Commission should take strong action (against him) for making such a statement,” he added.
Notably, the controversy erupted after CP Joshi, while addressing a gathering at Sema village in Rajsamand district claimed that PM Modi and Union Minister Uma Bharti are not qualified to speak on Hinduism. “Uma Bharti, who belongs to the Lodi samaj, is talking about Hindu religion. Narendra Modi too belongs to some other religion and talks about Hinduism,” Joshi had said.
However, Congress chief Rahul had distanced the grand old party from Joshi’s statement. “His (CP Joshi)’s statement is against the principles of Congress party. Neta’s must not make statements that hurt people’s sentiments. Keeping in mind the ethos and principles of the Congress, Joshi ji must have realised his mistake. He should regret his statement,” Gandhi tweeted yesterday.
Joshi is contesting the December 7 state polls from Nathdwara. The counting of votes for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly will be held on December 11.