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HomeIndiaKarnataka Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi retracts 'anti-Hindu' statement, expresses regret | India...

Karnataka Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi retracts ‘anti-Hindu’ statement, expresses regret | India News

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BENGALURU: Karnataka Congress working president Satish Jarkiholi, who is in the eye of a political storm for his statement on the origins of the word Hindu and its “dirty meaning”, on Wednesday withdrew the remark and expressed “regret” if it has hurt anyone’s sentiments.
Pointing out that his statement was only referring to what has been written and published, the MLA from Yamakanmardi constituency wrote a letter addressed to chief minister Basavaraj Bommai alleging that some vested interests were trying to project him as “anti-Hindu”, and sought an inquiry into it.
Jarkiholi is under intense criticism, including from his own party, for his remarks, and the ruling BJP on Wednesday held statewide protests condemning him and the Congress.
Noting that his statement was based on Wikipedia, books, dictionaries, and writings by historians, the former minister said in the letter, “Some vested interests are trying to project me as anti-Hindu and are conspiring to destroy my image. I request you to conduct an inquiry into all this, and against those who are trying to create a scene, without explaining the reality.”
He has urged Bommai to immediately constitute an inquiry committee to look into it.
Further, stating that his statement has created a controversy, Jarkiholi said, “As his remarks have been misconstrued and wrongly presented, I’m withdrawing my statement with a good intention that it should not create confusion among the public. If that statement has hurt anyone’s feelings, I express my regret.”
Jarkiholi, while speaking at Nippani in Belagavi district during an event organised by “Manav Bandhutva Vedike’ on Sunday, had claimed that the word ‘Hindu’ is Persian and has a very dirty meaning.
He had also said that a word and a religion from elsewhere are being forcefully imposed on people here, and demanded that there should be a proper debate in this regard.
Unfazed over the widespread criticism, including from his own party, for his remarks, Jarkiholi on Tuesday had said he was only referring to what has been written and published.
Defending himself and ruling out any apology, he had said he wants a debate on the issue and if proved wrong, would resign as a legislator.
Soon after Jarkiholi’s statement had gone viral on Monday, the Congress on its part had rejected it with AICC General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala condemning it on behalf of the party.
Speaking to reporters earlier today, Karnataka PCC chief D K Shivakumar said, “Our party condemns Jarkiholi’s statement, BJP may use the issue for politics, we are not bothered. As the president I’m saying — what he has said is wrong, I will contact him.”
Pointing out that Jarkiholi has tried to defend himself by stating that he was referring to a book, he said, “I don’t know which book. Our party’s stand on our religion and culture has been made clear by AICC general secretary Surjewala, Siddaramaiah and me. There is no change in it.”
The BJP today held a statewide protest condemning Jarkiholi for his controversial statement, and also attacked the Congress party.
At Mysuru Bank circle in Bengaluru, BJP workers staged a demonstration waving saffron flags and shouting slogans “Navella Hindu, Navella Ondu ‘ (We are all Hindus and are united). They burnt an effigy of Jarkiholi.
Similar protests by burning the Congress leader’s effigy, was held in Jarkiholi’s home district of Belagavi.
There were reports of protests from various parts of the state including Chamarajanagar, Tumakuru, Karwar, Yadgir, Raichur, Shivamogga, Gadag, Kalaburagi, Kolar, Bagalkote among other places.
Earlier in the day, speaking to reporters in Davangere, chief minister Bommai said, “He (Jarkiholi) is saying that his claims were after referring to some books and Wikipedia, whose trustworthiness is questionable. There are several cases. Believing them, if he is making such statements, what to say?”
Hitting out at Congress for taking shelter by stating that the remarks were not made at a party meeting or forum, he said, “The content is important. In an open public meeting, he has clearly said what he had to. Congress has to come out clear, Siddaramaiah (Congress Legislature Party leader) comments on every other thing, why is he silent on this? He has to say what his opinion is.”
BJP parliamentary board member and former chief minister Yediyurappa said Jarkiholi’s statement “humiliating Hindus is unpardonable”.
He urged the Congress leader to apologise stating that he won’t repeat it. “If not, people will teach a lesson.”
Home minister Araga Jnanendra too hit out at Jarkiholi and called Congress “dirty”, while accusing it of minority appeasement by humiliating Hindus, for the sake of votes.
Challenging Shivakumar, the minister further said, “If he has guts, let him remove Jarkiholi. Both — supporting such acts and condemning the same — cannot go hand in hand. Let Congress act similarly as BJP did against Nupur Sharma (for her controversial remarks about Prophet Mohammed).”

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