By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 6 Jan: After an inappropriate comment on senior Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition Dr Indira Hridayesh by BJP State President Bansidhar Bhagat heated up politics in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat deemed it fit to apologise to her through a tweet posted by him before dawn today.
Bhagat also had to issue a clarification and apologise to Hridayesh following this apology from the CM. It may be recalled that, on Tuesday, BJP State President Banshidhar Bhagat had made a comment on Indira Hridayesh that can be considered highly inappropriate. He was addressing party activists in Bhimtal in district Nainital while commenting on a recent claim made by Indira Hridayesh that many BJP MLAs were in touch with her and would be soon joining the Congress. He not only ridiculed her claim but made an inappropriate comment. Soon enough, the video went viral on social media and created a political storm in the state. Congress leaders have expressed their anger against the comments made by Bhagat. While Indira Hridayesh alleged that Bhagat’s comments were an insult to all the women of the state, PCC Chief Pritam Singh as well as Congress national general secretary Harish Rawat also made it a big issue. They went to the extent of stating that they would register a complaint in this regard with the Prime Minister through a letter and demand action against Bhagat.
Many Congress leaders soon started to issue public statements terming Bhagat’s comments as an insult to womanhood. As the issue snowballed, BJP’s leadership too felt embarrassed and in an attempt to put an end to the controversy, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat posted an apologetic tweet from his personal account past midnight.
As the day progressed, BJP State President Bansidhar Bhagat was forced to go on the back foot and issued a clarification claiming he what he had stated had been said jokingly. He asserted that, being from the same region of the state, he truly respected Indira Hridayesh, who was a well respected leader. He, however, added that the words spoken by him were fairly common in the Pahari language, although he was willing to withdraw his words if she or anyone else felt hurt. Congress stalwart Harish Rawat also appreciated the gesture of the CM and praised him for apologising to Hridayesh.
Many in the Uttarakhand BJP admit that, holding the coveted post of BJP state president, Bhagat ought to have been very cautious with the words uttered publicly. They said that his image as the party’s state president had taken a dent due to this controversy. Incidentally, it is not for the first time that Bhagat has made controversial comments in public.
By Arun Pratap Singh