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Gujarat civic polls: BJP candidate for VMC apologises for ‘derogatory’ comment

After her remarks created an uproar, Jhelum Choksi, who is contesting from ward number 14, released a video message tendering an apology for "hurting the sentiments of the community".

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
February 19, 2021 2:36:58 am
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, BJP, Gujarat local elections, Gujarat minicipal elections, Gujrat CM, Vijay Rupani, Gujarat news, Indian Express"We will reschedule the new date for the agitation after monitoring the situation,” BJP general secretary and Chandrashekhar Bawankule said.

A BJP candidate for elections to the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Thursday issued an apology for a comment she made, during a campaign trail, which had a phrase in the Gujarati language used to refer to a community in a derogatory manner.

After her remarks created an uproar, Jhelum Choksi, who is contesting from ward number 14, released a video message tendering an apology for “hurting the sentiments of the community”.

The incident occurred on Februray 17, when Choksi, along with three other BJP candidates of the ward were on their door-to-door campaign. During the campaign, the candidates faced a minor protest as residents questioned the “work” that the elected representatives of the previous body had put into the ward.

It resulted in an altercation and although the candidates maintained calm and tried to diffuse the situation, she went a bit overboard and used a prohibited phrase in a manner of speaking to describe her thoughts about the group of people who were protesting. Now, in the Gujarati language, the phrase is used in a derogatory manner to describe a community. While the people of the area do not belong to that community, the phrase is objectionable nonetheless because it is coined to describe the community in the metaphor it contains,” said BJP city unit general secretary Sunil Solanki, adding that the party learnt of a possible complaint against the candidate under The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Solanki said, “We learnt that someone was going to file a complaint. In order to correct the mistake, I personally told her to issue an apology and she admitted that she had used the phrase at a wrong place although her intention behind it was not malicious…”

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