Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s controversial remarks dubbing the Delhi Chief Minister as “mad” were downplayed by the Congress on Thursday which said he was only referring to Arvind Kejriwal being “ignorant” in running the affairs of the government.
“If you go into the local dialect the word “yeda” used by Shinde (in Marathi) is interchangeable with the word “bawala” being used in Hindi which means “nasamajh” (ignorant),” party spokesman Randip Surjewala told reporters.
He said all that the Home Minister was pointing out was that the Chief Minister had “lack of appropriate knowledge of law and constitution and responsibility of governance”.
“To attribute any other motive to the Home Minister will be unfair to him. He was using honorifics like ‘Sri’ and ‘Ji’ for Kejriwal even though he (chief minister) and other leaders of AAP were using completely objectionable language against Shinde who is 25 years elder to Kejriwal,” Surjewala said.
Noting that Shinde is a “very very seasoned” politician, Surjewala said that he knows his language and the need for maintaining decency and decorum in politics.
On Wednesday, Surjewala had feigned ignorance of the matter and had declined to comment on Shinde’s remarks that Arvind Kejriwal was a “Veda Mukhyamantri” (mad chief minister), but had praised the Union Home Minister for being a “very mature” leader.
Shinde had stoked a controversy when he called Kejriwal a “Veda Mukhyamantri” (mad chief minister in Marathi), while recalling his own days in the police force.
Shinde has been at the receiving end of Kejriwal’s repeated diatribes.
On Friday, the first question to the AAP was related to its “anti-national activities”.