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‘Sardar’ gets it wrong for Bapu while batting for BJP

Congress leaders in Kamrej taluka of Surat district have alleged that Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal...

Written by Express News Service | Surat |
April 14, 2009 4:59:02 am

Congress leaders in Kamrej taluka of Surat district have alleged that Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal,who is campaigning for the BJP,has used improper language while referring to Mahatma Gandhi. They have submitted a memorandum in this regard,while the Surat District Collector Dilip Rawal has initiated an inquiry into the matter and sought a report on that particular speech. Rawal incidentally had essayed the role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the film ‘Sardar’.

He is also one of the key characters in Nandita Das’ directorial venture – Firaaq,which is based on the 2002 riots. According to sources,Paresh Rawal came to Surat on Thursday to campaign for BJP candidate Ritesh Vasawa from the Bardoli constituency.

At a public meeting in Kamrej,he allegedly said that the Congress has given importance to Mahatma Gandhi and ‘Chahca’ Nehru and not Sardar Patel. He said that Sardar Patel had played an important role in the freedom struggle and the Congress party has never given him importance.

Several others like Surat MLA Kishor Vankawala,BJP candidate from Bardoli seat,Ristesh Vaswa and others were present during the speech. Kamrej taluka Congress president Kishor Kantharia submitted a memorandum to Kamrej taluka Mamlatdar A R Choudhary in this regard. The Congress leaders demanded strict actions against Paresh Rawal for using such language at a public meeting. Senior Surat Congress leader Kadir Pirzada said: “We condemn the language used by Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal as he has hurt our feelings. Mahatama Gandhi is the Man of the Century and is also the Father of the Nation. How can one use such language against him?”

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Sources in the Surat collector’s office also revealed that they have received direction from the Election Commission at Gandhinagar to look into the matter. Dilip Rawal contacted election observer Kalai Chelvan of Bardoli and told him to check the matter and submit a report.

Election observer Kalai Chelvan said: “I am looking into the incident and we have appointed a nodal officer,who is working on it. I will listen to the speech.”

Dilip Rawal,however,could not be contacted as he was busy in election meetings.

The controversial statement by Paresh Rawal is: “In the history books,Sardar Patel has been pictured as a freedom fighter. In the history books only two people are depicted as being responsible for Hindustan’s freedom,one Mahatma Gandhi and the other ‘chacha’ Nehru; one Bapu (father) and other Kaka (uncle),and no one else. Gandhiji has to be considered,there is no other option,and Congress especially has no other option; and there is no option but to keep Nehru.”

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