BJP MP’s remark on Christians sparks row

BJP MP’s remark on Christians sparks row

Gopal Shetty, image courtesy ANI/Twitter

A senior BJP MP from Mumbai, Gopal Shetty, stoked a major political controversy by saying "Christians were angrez” and they had no contribution in India’s freedom struggle.

A video of the comments of 64-year-old Shetty, who represents Mumbai North constituency, has gone viral on the social media.

“Christians were “angrez” (British), hence they didn’t participate in the freedom movement. India was not freed by a Hindu or a Muslim; we fought as one for our independence,” Shetty is heard saying in the video.

The video was recorded when Shetty was addressing a gathering during the Eid Milan organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malvani in Malad, last Sunday.
RSS backed British

Attacking Shetty for his remarks, Maharashtra Congress President and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said: “If reflects despicable communal mindset of the BJP. Freedom struggle is the epitome of sacrifices made by all communities, including Christians. Shetty must know that only RSS was in support of British.”

“I pity BJP MP Gopal Shetty for his lack of knowledge of history since he is uneducated and had failed in 8th standard exams not once but thrice. Will send him history books to know about Christians' role in freedom movement in India. He must apologise to the community,” Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam tweeted.

All India Mahila Congress General Secretary Janet Desouza and Mumbai Mahila Congress President Ajanta Yadav held protest outside Shetty’s office in Borivli West.

“It was a miscommunication and misinterpretation,” Shetty clarified and hinted at resigning.

Police plaint

However, state BJP President Raosaheb Patil-Danve and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis persuaded him not to step down. “Only a part of his statement was taken and shown,” state BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said.

Two residents of Orlem in Malad, Jerad Lobo and Mavis Fernandes, filed a complaint against Shetty at Malvani Police Station.

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