With National Conference (NC) patron Farooq Abdullah caught on camera talking over mobile phone while the national anthem was being played after the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday questioned Abdullah ‘if he was talking to separatists to figure out their national anthem.’
“Obviously he was more interested in talking on the telephone than being attentive to the national anthem. I almost question whether he was talking to separatists to figure out what their national anthem is because if you can disrespect Jana Gana Mana, it is most disrespectful to our great country as well,” BJP leader Shaina NC told ANI.
Abdullah replied to the comments and said that he was sorry if it offended anyone.
I was standing for the national anthem, but if it offended anyone I am sorry: Farooq Abdullah pic.twitter.com/ja80WPuuXP
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 28, 2016
The BJP had earlier dubbed the incident as unfortunate and asked Abdullah to tender an apology.
“It is the responsibility of every Indian to respect the national anthem. Dr. Farooq Abdullah is an eminent politician, we don’t expect such behaviour from leaders like him,” said BJP leader Ravinder Raina.
“Nothing is more unfortunate than disrespecting the national anthem. It is highly condemnable. He owes an explanation. He should tender an apology,” he added.