Hours after Congress president Rahul Gandhi criticised CP Joshi for his statement that only Brahmins can talk about Hinduism, the senior Congress leader expressed regret for his remark. “Congress ke siddhanton evam karyakartaon ki bhawanaon ka sammaan karte hue mere kathan se kisi warga ko thes pahunchi ho toh main uske liye khed prakat karta hun (Respecting Congress’ principles and the feeling of the party workers, I would like to express regret if my statement has hurt any section of the society),” he tweeted.
Rejecting Joshi’s apology, BJP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the senior Congress leader, saying the remarks “insulted” Indian culture and the Hindu religion. “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.
He also dared Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to expel him from the party. “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 said.
Joshi is facing criticism from multiple quarters – including his party chief – after a video clip showed him purportedly saying that only Brahmins can talk about Hinduism. Joshi also questioned how Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader Uma Bharti could speak about Hinduism given their caste.
In a video tweeted by Harsh Sanghavi, a BJP MLA from Gujarat, Joshi is heard saying, “Does anyone know what is the caste of Uma Bharti? What is the caste of Sadhvi Ritambhara? In this country, if anyone knows about religion, it is the pandits and the Brahmins. Uma Bharti is a Lodhi, and she talks about Hinduism, Modi Ji talks about Hinduism. Its only Brahmins who don’t talk about it. The country is being misled. Religion and governance are two different things. Everyone has the right to practice their religion.”
कांग्रेस के सिद्धांतो एवं कार्यकर्ताओं की भावनाओं का सम्मान करते हुए मेरे कथन से समाज के किसी वर्ग को ठेस पहुँची हो तो मैं उसके लिए खेद प्रकट करता हूँ ।
— Dr. C.P. Joshi (@drcpjoshi) November 23, 2018
“They say a Congressi can’t be a Hindu, who gave them the authority to issue certificates? Have they opened a university? If anyone knows about religion then its pandits and Brahmins,” the Congress leader is heard saying while addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Nathdwara on Thursday.
Joshi is also heard saying, “Sardar Patel ji was in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet. Patel ji’s unifying India project had the support of Pandit Nehru, he never did anything without Pandit Nehru’s nod. But these people today spread misinformation that both of them did not get along.”
In his tweet, Sanghavi called Joshi’s statements on caste shameful. “Shameful statement by Congress Leader CP Joshi. Implies what does a lower caste person like Modi know about Hinduism as only Brahmins are true custodians of Hinduism!” he tweeted.
Shameful statement by Congress Leader CP Joshi. Implies what does a lower caste person like Modi know about Hinduism as only Brahmins are true custodians of Hinduism ! pic.twitter.com/JKhoKdYnnx
— Harsh Sanghavi (@sanghaviharsh) November 22, 2018
Responding to the statement, Gandhi Friday tweeted that the leader should express regret for his statement. “CP Joshi’s comment is the opposite of the values of Congress party. Party leaders should not give statements which can hurt sentiments of any section. I am sure Joshi Ji will realise his mistake, keeping party’s principles in mind. He should regret his statement,” Gandhi tweeted.
सी पी जोशी जी का बयान कांग्रेस पार्टी के आदर्शों के विपरीत है। पार्टी के नेता ऐसा कोई बयान न दें जिससे समाज के किसी भी वर्ग को दुःख पहुँचे।
कांग्रेस के सिद्धांतों, कार्यकर्ताओं की भावना का आदर करते हुए जोशीजी को जरूर गलती का अहसास होगा। उन्हें अपने बयान पर खेद प्रकट करना चाहिए।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 23, 2018
After facing criticism from multiple BJP leaders, Joshi claimed that the video was fabricated.
“I strongly condemn the fabricated use of my statement by BJP,” he tweeted.