Kirti Azad, who taunted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wearing a dress of local tradition during his visit to Shillong, has come on the backfoot. He has apologized by tweeting on Friday. Kirti Azad said that my recent tweet was misinterpreted. I apologize to those whose sentiments were hurt by this. After Kirti Azad’s tweet, politics was heated up in Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and an apology was being demanded.
Kirti Azad has now apologized in the latest statement. He further said in the tweet that I have immense respect and pride in our diverse cultures. I am sorry for the pain caused by my unintentional comment. I reiterate my pledge to always work to uphold our constitutional values.
Kirti Azad accused of making derogatory remarks
Let us tell you that on December 18, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Shillong in Meghalaya. Here he wore a traditional Khasi dress with a traditional Garo cap to show his respect for the two main tribes of the state. The pictures of this dress went viral on social media. Meanwhile, an alleged derogatory remark by Trinamool Congress leader Kirti Azad on Khasi dress has sparked controversy in the Northeast. His remarks were condemned by the Chief Ministers of three states.
Tweeted deleted when the controversy escalated
However, the former cricketer and TMC leader said that he was not insulting the dress but was commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘fashion statement’. In fact, Azad had shared two lines in Hindi along with pictures of Modi in the traditional Khasi outfit ‘Zimphong’ and a picture of a female model wearing a similar outfit. However, he deleted the tweet when the controversy escalated.
CMs of three states condemned the statement
The Chief Ministers of Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh had condemned Azad’s remarks and demanded an apology. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had said- ‘It is unfortunate that the TMC leader has made such a comment. It was an insensitive statement and the concerned political party should apologize for insulting our people and culture.
BJP urges not to vote for TMC
The National People’s Party leader also demanded an apology from TMC leaders in the state. BJP also reacted strongly to the controversial tweet. Party’s state president Ernest Mowry said- It is very sad to make fun of the dress worn by PM Modi. The PM respects the traditional dress and wears it proudly whenever he visits our state. The BJP leader urged the people not to vote for the TMC in the upcoming assembly elections to be held early next year.
‘Our culture is being mocked’
Neighboring Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted and said- It is sad to see that Kirti Azad is disrespecting the culture of Meghalaya and making fun of our tribal dress. TMC should immediately clarify whether they support his views. His silence is indicating tacit support. Thus people will not be forgiven.
‘This is an insult to the dignity of womanhood’
Sarma’s Arunachal Pradesh counterpart Pema Khandu also condemned Azad’s tweet. Khandu said on Twitter- Kirti Azad, your ridiculing the rich tribal traditions of Meghalaya and our rich tribal heritage is despicable and disgusting. Your language is pathetic and an insult to the dignity of womanhood. I condemn it.
Azad had said in clarification – misinterpreted
Azad later deleted the tweet and put up another post clarifying it. He tweeted- ‘I have not disrespected the dress, I love it. I was trying to point out that our Prime Minister likes to make fashion statements. Never leave a chance.
Elections to be held in Meghalaya next year
Let us tell you that elections for the 60-member house in the northeastern state are to be held early next year. The TMC has emerged as the main opposition party after a group of Congress legislators led by former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma joined it. Party supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew and party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had also visited the state recently and called upon the people to defeat the ruling NDA government.