K’taka BJP MLA apologises over WhatsApp message mocking Hindu Gods

Team Udayavani, Jul 21, 2020, 8:15 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP MLA Murugesh Nirani apologised on Tuesday after a WhatsApp message that allegedly mocked Hindu Gods was shared from his personal mobile number, sparking a controversy.

The screenshot of the message was telecast by some local news channels, which also showed Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar leaving the WhatsApp group after it was posted.

Nirani, a former Minister, later released a video statement tendering a public apology.

He said the number was his. However, he added that the message was not forwarded by him and hinted that it may have been done unintentionally by his personal assistant (PA).

“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, creating a hullabaloo. Mistake is a mistake, regardless of who committed it. It was not forwarded intentionally and those with me have apologised for the mistake. I apologise to the people of the state,” he said.

Nirani, who represents Bilgi constituency, said he is tolerant towards all religions and has never spoken lightly about religion or faith, adding, he had utmost respect and devotion in the ”Sanatana Dharma.

“As a Hindu, I am proud of my religion. This mistake happened because of my PA”s indiscretion. People should not mistake me because of this…On behalf of my staff and my personal behalf, I once again apologise. Let this issue not continue further and create more confusion. I assure you that I will be careful going forward to make sure this doesnt happen again,” he added.

Responding to a question on the issue, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said Nirani should first clarify if he believes in God.

“Insulting God amounts to insulting every person who believes in God and causing pain to them,” Siddaramaiah told reporters.

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