Karnataka’s Minister for Urban Development and Haj, Roshan Baig, who was trolled on social media for using crude language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has now gone back on his words and claims that he was not too well versed in Tamil. He has also apologised for using crude language.
“I have the greatest respect and regards towards my country’s Prime Minister. It doesn’t matter which party he is from, he is not just a BJP Prime Minister, he’s the Prime Minister of our country,” Minister Baig told TNM after the Congress high command called his words condemnable.
Roshan Baig had made a derogatory remark about Prime Minister Modi while addressing a gathering in Tamil in Bengaluru’s Frazer Town area, which has a considerable Tamil-speaking population.
“Now what has happened? He demonetised notes... He cancelled the Rs 1000 notes and the Rs 500 notes. Now people are scolding him. "Look what the ##### has done," they say. Not us. Congress doesn't say this. Those who supported the BJP - the Gujaratis and the Marwadis - they are the ones who are scolding him. "Hamari pehli bhool, Kamal ka phool." What does that mean?” Minister Baig had said, evoking applause and whistles from the crowd.
“I just wanted to highlight how Modi’s supporters in Bengaluru are now turning against him after he demonetised Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 currency notes last year. Earlier they would say he is our PM Modi. Now they are abusing him. That’s was what I wanted to convey, not disrespect the Prime Minister,” he said, while speaking to TNM later.
As soon a video of Minister Baig’s crude speech hit the news, the BJP launched fierce attack on the Minister and demanded that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah remove him from the state cabinet. State Congress leaders, however, said that the video had been tampered with.
Karnataka BJP President B S Yeddyurappa, lashed out at Roshan Baig’s statement and called it “extremely derogatory”.
“They (Congress leaders) don't know how to use proper language. From Rahul Gandhi to Roshan Baig, all are the same. They talk about a parliamentary system, but use unparliamentary language,” BJP leader Muralidhar Rao told reporters.
When the controversy reached it’s peak, Minister Baig came out with his explanation and said he did not mean no disrespect to PM Modi. “I never use such language and I never used against our Prime Minister. I don’t even use such words against domestic help,” Baig said.
Later, he also tweeted saying that the BJP was targeting him because the saffron party did not have any real issues to highlight.
The Karnataka Congress leaders then distanced themselves from the controversy. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Working President, Dinesh Gundu Rao called Minister’s Baig’s speech “condemnable”.
"Speaking about anybody in such language, and more so, the PM is condemnable. We shouldn't lower the quality of political discourse," he tweeted.