After facing a backlash from Opposition Congress over his “families without a tiranga on their houses can’t be trusted” remark, Uttarakhand BJP president Mahendra Bhatt has said that he was quoted out of context.
“I had only said that those who do not have a tiranga cannot be trusted by the country. Why would someone have a problem putting up tiranga? This is the kind of mistrust I was talking about,” he clarified.
Addressing an event in Haldwani as part of the government’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations on Wednesday, Bhatt said that India cannot trust those who do not hoist the national flag.
“Jiske ghar me tiranga nahi lagega, hum usse vishwas ki nazar se kabhi dekh nahi payenge. Mujhe us ghar ka photo chahiye jis ghar me tiranga na laga ho. Samaaj dekhna chahta hai uss ghar ko… Uss parivar ko dekhna chahta hai. Bharat ko lekar a-sammaan ka bhav kis kis parivar ke andar hai (we can never trust the person who does not have tiranga at his house. I want photos of the house that does not have tiranga on it. Society wants to see that house and that family),” Bhatt was quoted as saying.
Bhatt took over as the state BJP chief on July 30.
Reacting to Bhatt’s statement, former CM Harish Rawat, in a Fecebook post, said: “Who is the BJP to measure someone’s patriotism? And only if hoisting the tiranga is patriotism, then there are several persons and organisations close to them who did not hoist the tiranga for years. They probably hesitate even today.”
“Today over 42 crore people in the country are under the poverty line and over 50-55 crore people have a massive question of managing their daily meal…How can these people arrange the money for flags,” he said.
Talking to The Indian Express, Congress state president Karan Mahara said that given Bhatt’s statement, people should also not trust the RSS which hasn’t hoisted the Tricolour at its headquarters in 52 years.
He alleged that the BJP was trying to hide its failures under the national flag.
Meanwhile, attacking the Congress party, Uttarakhand Minister Rekha Arya said that the main motive behind Bhatt’s statement was to ensure that tiranga is hoisted at every house. “The Congress has a habit of making an issue out of nothing,” she said.