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Vijayvargiya retracts tweet against SRK, but doesn’t apologise

BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Wednesday retracted an earlier tweet in which he had called actor Shah Rukh Khan “anti-national”, but there was no let up in the opposition attack on him.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2015 15:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Kailash Vijayvargiya,Shah Rukh Khan,Growing Intolerance
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan gestures during a press conference on his birthday in Mumbai.(AP)

BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Wednesday retracted an earlier tweet in which he had called actor Shah Rukh Khan “anti-national”, but there was no let up in the opposition attack on him.

“My tweet was misconstrued by some, I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I retract my tweets from yesterday,” Vijayvargiya tweeted, a day after his earlier comment sparked an outrage on mainstream and social media.

“If India is intolerant, then Shah Rukh Khan wouldn’t have been the most loved actor after Amitabh Bachchan,” the BJP general secretary said.

Khan had, on Monday his 50th birthday, said there was “nothing worse than religious intolerance and that it would take India to the Dark Ages”.

“There is intolerance, there is extreme intolerance... there is I think... there is growing intolerance,” Khan said supporting the filmmakers and writers who have returned their awards protesting the killings of rationalists and the mob attacks on Muslims over rumours of eating beef.

Vijayavargiya’s latest tweets came after his party distanced itself from his earlier remarks critical of the actor, saying it was “not the view of the BJP”.

“We have no problems with Shah Rukh Khan. He is a great actor. Undoubtedly people admire him. But what exactly Vijayvargiya has said I have not gone through,” senior minister Venkaiah Naidu said.

The Congress, however, continued its attack saying the Bharatiya Janata Party was targeting people “who do not agree with the government”.

“Shah Rukh Khan is an icon of cosmopolitan India. He has the right to speak his mind as a citizen of India. The BJP can’t question anyone,” Congress’ deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said on Wednesday.

Sharma also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “tacitly endorsing the environment of intolerance which is incited by his colleagues.”

On Tuesday, Vijayvargiya, a former Madhya Pradesh minister, had called Khan “anti-national” in a series of tweets. Controversial Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi joined him, calling Khan a “Pakistani agent” for saying there is “extreme intolerance” in the country.

Vijayvargiya’s controversial tweets said: “Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he thinks India is intolerant. If this is not anti-national, then what is it? India is making a bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations and all anti-Indian forces including Pakistan are creating a conspiracy.”

He came under attack for this comment with the Congress calling for an apology from the PM, and Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’Brien terming the comment “sickening”.

“Sickening remarks against Shah Rukh Khan by BJP general secretary, also Bengal in-charge. What kind of attitude is this? Everyone else is bad and only you are good?” O’Brien said in a statement.

On Twitter, the hashtag #KailashVijayvargiyaLeaveIndia trended.

Read: Shah Rukh lives in India, his heart is in Pak: BJP leader Vijayvargiya

Sadhvi Prachi, Vijayvargiya slammed for calling Shah Rukh ‘Pak agent’

First Published: Nov 04, 2015 12:05 IST