Controversial Remarks by BJP Candidate Parshottam Rupala Spark Outrage

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Controversial Remarks by BJP Candidate Parshottam Rupala Spark Outrage

| Updated: March 25, 2024 17:54

Parshottam Rupala, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate for the Rajkot Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat, has stirred up a controversy with his remarks during a meeting of the Valmiki Samaj. The comments have sparked significant backlash from the Rajput community, leading to Rupala issuing an apology.

Rupala, who is also the Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy, was caught on video making the contentious remarks. The video, which has since gone viral, shows Rupala addressing a gathering of the Valmiki Samaj in Rajkot. In his speech, Rupala praised the resilience of the Valmiki community, contrasting it with the actions of other communities during the British rule in India.

Following the uproar, the Kshatriya Girasdar Sena of Rajkot lodged a written complaint against Rupala, accusing him of inciting communal religious sentiment and demanding that a criminal complaint be registered. The group alleges that Rupala’s speech was an attempt to sow discord between communities and that it has hurt the feelings of the Kshatriya Girasdar community.

In response to the complaint, Rajkot Police Commissioner Raju Bhargava stated that no criminal complaint has been registered yet. The application received is currently under investigation and the police are examining whether Rupala’s comments constitute a crime. The investigation has been handed over to the Crime Branch.

The Rajput community and the opposition have reacted strongly to the video, accusing Rupala of insulting the community. Mahesh Rajput, president of the Rajkot Kardia Rajput Samaj, criticized Rupala’s remarks and called his subsequent apology a ‘drama’. He said, “It is not fair to downgrade a caste to get votes. You have forgotten the sacrifices made by Kshatriyas for the country.”

Shaktisinh Gohil, the state president of Gujarat Congress, criticized Rupala’s comments, stating that it is unacceptable to make derogatory remarks about any society and then apologize. He further added that the historical context of Rupala’s comments was not accurate, describing the remarks as ‘unacceptable and shocking’.

Following the backlash, Rupala issued an apology via a video posted on the YouTube channel of Kshatriya Samaj Gujarat. In his apology, Rupala stated that he had received responses from many leaders of the Kshatriya community, expressing their anger and offering advice. He mentioned conversations with Kshatriya community leaders including Bhupendra Singh Chudasama, Rajya Sabha MP Kesari Singhand Mandhata Singh of Rajkot, who expressed their displeasure and indignation over his comments about the Kshatriya society and the royal family.

Rupala defended his remarks, explaining that his intention was to describe the oppression of India by foreign invaders and not to belittle the royal family or the Kshatriyas. He apologized for any hurt feelings caused by his comments, stating, ‘I sincerely apologise. I make it clear that my intention was not to hurt anyone’s sentiments and request everyone to finish the matter here.’

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