Sorry to Indore, won’t apologise to politicians, says BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover on row over his comment on cleanliness tag


PTI, Sep 12, 2023, 1:17 PM IST

Amid a row over his comments on Indore’s top rank in the Centre’s cleanliness survey, BharatPe’s co-founder Ashneer Grover has said while he will say sorry to the city, he will not apologise to the politicians.

A non-cognisable offence information report (NCR) was registered on Monday against Grover after a video showed him commenting on Indore’s top rank in the Centre’s cleanliness survey and purportedly claiming it had been ”bought”.

Following the development, Grover shared the video of his controversial statement in a post on his X.

“Sorry to Indore. You’ve got great people and a city. But politicians everywhere have got no chill! Unnecessary politics being made out of a statement made in jest in a playful conversation on Bhopal vs Indore. Where the audience had fun – no offence was meant. None taken by anyone. No one getting offended now was even present in the room,” he said in the post late on Monday night.

He further said, ”Not sorry to any politician. Ever. No one. Any party. FIR kar lo (register an FIR). Case kar lo (register a case). Koi farak nahi padta (it doesn’t make any difference) – I am not a pushover – won’t be bullied. Don’t make an issue where there is none. It might be an election year – but people are smart. Indori people – super smart. I’ll come to Indore when I wish, as many times I wish – and am confident of Indori mehmaan nawazi (good hospitality).” On Bhopal vs Indore, his favourite remains Bhopal, Grover wrote, adding that it would be dishonest of him to put Bhopal lower when he feels it is not only Madhya Pradesh’s best city but also India’s.

Indore city of Madhya Pradesh has remained on top in the Centre’s Swachh Sarvekshan for six consecutive years.

Addressing an event here on Sunday, Grover is heard in the video saying, ”See, there is a concept – playing to the gallery, that is, wherever you go, praise it saying I have never seen such a nice city. Now the problem with me is that for three-four years I have heard that Indore is the cleanest city…you have bought the survey. It’s a simple thing.” Grover, however, immediately clarified that he was not saying there was filth in Indore, and that he meant several construction works are going on in the city.

An NCR was registered against Grover under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 (defamation) and section 500 (punishment for defamation) on the complaint received from the Indore Municipal Corporation, Lasudia police station in-charge Taresh Kumar Soni had said on Monday.

After an NCR is registered, if the complainant wishes, he can file a case in court at his personal level, he explained.

Indore’s Mayor Pushyamitra Bhargava said, ”I have seen Grover’s video. His statement is an insult to the hard work of the city’s people and sanitation workers for cleanliness. We will take appropriate legal action against this insult and also serve him a notice for defamation.” State Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who is in-charge of Indore district, also criticised Grover’s statement and said, “Those who have garbage in their mind will only see filth.” Indore Municipal Corporation chief sanitary inspector Sanjay Ghavri, on whose complaint the NCR was lodged, told PTI that Grover’s controversial statement had insulted the people of the city.

”This statement has hurt thousands of sanitation workers of the city who are engaged in cleanliness work from early morning till late night,” Ghavri said.

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