K'taka Congress leader Jarkiholi withdraws 'Hindu' remark, issues apology

K'taka Congress leader Jarkiholi withdraws 'Hindu' remark, issues apology

Calling it a “conspiracy" against him, he asked Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to order a probe into the matter.

Karnataka Congress working president Satish Jarkiholi, who faced massive backlash for his statement on the origins of the word Hindu, on Wednesday withdrew his remarks and issued an apology. Calling it a “conspiracy" against him, he asked Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to order a probe into the matter.

“There is a conspiracy to project me as anti-Hindu," he said and wrote to CM Bommai seeking the formation of a committee to investigate the matter.

Earlier in the day, the BJP held protests in different parts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru, condemning Jarkiholi for his controversial statement that the word ‘Hindu’ is Persian and it has a “dirty" meaning. The saffron party also targeted the Congress on the issue, calling it “anti-Hindu", and demanded his sacking from the party.

Bommai also questioned Congress leader Siddaramaiah for being silent on the issue and demanded his comments on the row. Former CM BS Yediyurappa had said Jarkiholi must issue an apology and if not, “people will teach a lesson".

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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.

Despite widespread criticism for his remarks, Jarkiholi on Tuesday said he was only referring to what has been written and published. Defending himself and ruling out any apology, Jarkiholi had said that he wants a debate on the issue and if proved wrong, would resign as a legislator.

Speaking to reporters, Karnataka PCC chief Shivakumar today 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." Noting 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 (Randeep) Surjewala, Siddaramaiah and me. There is no change in it."

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