The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Himachal Pradesh chief Satpal Singh Satti on Monday refused to apologise for his derogatory remarks against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for referring PM Narendra Modi as “chowkidar chor hai”. Satti asserted that the Congress chief should not call PM “chor” when his entire family is out on bail.
The Congress has filed a police complaint against Satti after a video of him making derogatory remarks against Gandhi went viral on social media. The party has taken the matter to the election commission and declared that on Tuesday it will hold demonstrations against the BJP across the state.
On Sunday, during a meeting with BJP workers at Ramshehar in Solan district, Satti said, “Manch k upar se Narendra Modi ji ko chor bol rahe hain. Chowkidar chor hai. Bhaiya teri maa ki zamaanat hui hai. Teri apni zamaanat hui hai. Tere jije ki zamaanat hui hai… Narendra Modi ki na zamaanat hui, na case bana, na kisi ne saza di. Tu kaun hota hai judge ki tarah chor bolne wala (From the stage during election rallies, Rahul Gandhi has been calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a thief. He has been saying chowkidar chor hai – watchman is a thief. Rahul Gandhi’s mother Sonia Gandhi is on bail. He is on bail. His brother-in-law Robert Vadra is on bail. But no case has either been filed against Modi, nor is he out on bail, nor did any judge give him a punishment. Who is Rahul Gandhi to call Modi a thief, like a judge?)”
Referring to a Facebook post where people had allegedly abused Gandhi, Satti said, “Ek Punjabi admi ne Facebook ke upar likha. Randhir Sharma ne kaha mai aapko bol nahi sakta kyuki Rahul ji ke baare mein ham bhi nahi bol sakte kyuki wo ek party ke national leader hain aur teen baar ke MP hain. Maine kaha likha kya hai bol toh do. Kehte hain aap thoda Facebook par padho, dekho ham se bhi zyada gussa hai logon mein. (A Punjabi individual wrote on Facebook against Rahul Gandhi. BJP spokesperson Randhir Sharma couldn’t read it out to me since we cannot use derogatory language against Rahul Gandhi, who is a national leader and a three-time MP. After I insisted, Randhir Sharma asked me to read the Facebook post myself and see that people are angrier with the Congress than we are).”
Satti, who was giving an election-related speech to the BJP workers, then read from a paper, “Usne likha hai ki agar is desh ka chowkidar chor hai, agar tu bolta hai toh tu m******** hai (The Facebook user has written that if the watchman of this country is a thief, then Rahul Gandhi who calls Modi a thief is a m***********).”
A statement by the state Congress said, “Satpal Singh Satti, President BJP, Himachal Pradesh while addressing meeting organised by the BJP passed derogatory remarks against our Congress president Rahul Gandhi ji and Sonia Gandhi ji which were highly defamatory and against women’s dignity. The highly objectionable remarks used by Satpal Singh Satti are also in gross violation of the guidelines laid down by Election Commission of India.”
Meanwhile, Satti said, “During the meeting, I was only recalling a conversation with (BJP spokesperson) Randhir Sharma ji where someone had written on social media against Rahul Gandhi. I will not apologise to Rahul Gandhi because I didn’t say anything against him. I only read out a social media post. Instead, Rahul Gandhi should apologise to our party for calling Modi ji chor.”
Satti claimed that during the meeting he had told the BJP workers to not write derogatory remarks against any political leader on social media. “The video that is going viral on social media is only a part of my entire speech. Congress must present the full video where I have used the example of Rahul Gandhi to tell our workers to not use derogatory language against any political figure on social media,” Satti said.
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee General Secretary Rajneesh Kimta said, “We have brought the matter to the notice of Himachal Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and the Election Commission of India.” The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee also filed a police complaint against Satti on Monday, over email, Kimta said.
Shimla Superintendent of Police Omapati Jamwal said, “We have received the email of the complaint. We are currently studying the contents of the complaint, only after that, we will be able to take any action if required.’