Hours after Uttarakhand BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat courted controversy with her remarks against Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has intervened. In a tweeted message to the Congress leader, the CM said that he was "personally apologising" to Hridayesh.
For those who have not followed the debacle, Uttarakhand BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat had on Tuesday called the senior Congress leader "budhiya". Reacting to her recent claim that several BJP MLAs were in touch with the Opposition, Bhagat chose to respond in a rather startling manner while addressing an event. "Arre budhiya, tujhse kyun sampark karenge?" he asked. His remark loosely translates to mean: "Why will they contact you, old lady?"
Reacting to the remarks and the ensuing controversy that has erupted, Rawat said that he was "very sad" to hear about what had happened. Tagging Hridayesh in his post he emphasised that this was not a sentiment shared by him, adding that women were "respected and revered".
"I personally want to apologise to you and all others who have been hurt," he said. Rawat also said that he would call and deliver his apology in person to Hridayesh in person the next day.
Since yesterday, there has been widespread condemnation of the BJP leader's comments. While many including Hridayesh herself has sought an apology, there has been no follow-up comments from Bhagat thus far. Others still have called for the Uttarakhand BJP chief's removal from office.
Last week the Leader of Opposition had reportedly said that there were BJP MLAs willing to change sides, refusing to divulge names at the time. The issue, she had said, would be discussed with the party's national leadership before a decision was taken. The claim has also been echoed by former Chief Minister Harish Rawat.