Ex BJP minister in soup post anti-Hindu forward message

BJP’s Murugesh Nirani in soup after anti-Hindu forward message

Former BJP minister Murugesh Nirani tendered a public apology on Tuesday after a WhatsApp message undermining the legitimacy of Hindu deities was shared from his personal mobile number. 

The message, which contained derogatory remarks about Hindu gods Brahma, Rama, Krishna and others, was sent from Nirani’s number to a WhatsApp group at 5.28 am. 

Among the members of the group was Primary & Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, who left soon after he read the message. 

“This number is mine, but I did not forward the message. For the purpose of public relations, my PA and gunman use the number. Last night, the phone was with my PA. Due to negligence, the message that came from somewhere got forwarded and this created faff. A mistake is a mistake, regardless of who committed it. For this mistake, (my PA) has apologised. The message was not forwarded deliberately. I apologise to the people of the state,” Nirani said in a video statement. 

Anticipating the damage an anti-Hindu message could cause to his reputation, Nirani, who is said to be lobbying to become a minister, said he had utmost faith and devotion in the sanatana dharma. “I am tolerant of all religions. I have never spoken lightly about religion-faith. I see all religions equally. As a Hindu, I am proud of my religion. This mistake happened because of my PA’s indiscretion. Let this not become a reason for people to mistake me. On behalf of my staff, I once again apologise. Let this not continue further and create more confusion. I assure you that I will be careful going forward to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Nirani said. 

This elicited a reaction from leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, who is seen as a rationalist and borderline atheist himself. “(Nirani) should first clarify, does he believe in God?” Siddaramaiah said. “This amounts to insulting every person who believes in God.”