The Shiv Sena said that the BJP high command in Delhi had disapproved of Shetty’s remarks and asked him to apologise.
The Shiv Sena on Monday slammed the BJP for asking party MP Gopal Shetty to apologise for his remark that “Christians didn’t participate in India’s freedom struggle”. In an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena said Shetty’s remarks appear to have angered politicians more than the Christian community itself. “Because the issue is not one of respecting the Christian community, but about a vote bank. So, he has been deliberately targeted.”
Shetty, a BJP MP from the Mumbai North, had last week reportedly said that while Hindus and Muslims fought together for Independence. Christians, who he described as angrez (British), didn’t participate in India’s freedom struggle.
The Sena said that the BJP high command in Delhi had disapproved of Shetty’s remarks and asked him to apologise. “An emotional Shetty was ready to resign as an MP, saying he doesn’t wish to continue if restrictions are imposed on his freedom of expression. It shows how he might have been tortured mentally. The BJP that advocated Hindutva is becoming secular for politics and it wants people from all religions. It will even tolerate Lord Ram in Ayodhya going into exile.”