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Congress slams C.P. Joshi for derogatory remarks; minister apologises

Congress slams C.P. Joshi for derogatory remarks; minister apologises
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New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday disapproved of party leader C P Joshi's remarks that have been slammed as casteist, and asked him to express regret.

In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said Joshi's remarks do not reflect, and are contrary, to the ideals of the Congress party, as he urged party leaders to refrain from making such statements.

"C P Joshi's remark is contrary to the Congress party"s ideals. Party leaders should not give such statement that hurts any segment of the society, he said. "While respecting the Congress party's principles and the sentiments of party workers, I am sure Joshiji will realise his mistake. He should express regret over his remarks," Gandhi said on Twitter.

Addressing a poll meeting in Rajasthan on Thursday, Joshi had reportedly said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP MP Uma Bharti and Hindu activist Sadhvi Ritambhara are from "lower castes" and know nothing of Hinduism. He said it is the Brahmins who are learned and know of Hinduism.

The remarks come ahead of Assembly elections in Rajasthan on December 7 and Madhya Pradesh on November 28 and have the potential of alienating lower caste voters.

Senior Congress leader C.P. Joshi on Friday apologised for his remarks a day after a video surfaced of him saying "only brahmins know and can talk about Hinduism".

"Respecting the ideals of the Congress and the sentiments of the party workers, I express remorse for my statement if it caused any hurt to the sentiments of any section of the society," he said in a brief statement.

In the video, he was heard saying that only pandits and brahmins knew about Hinduism and were learned enough to speak about it.

"Does anyone know what is the caste of Uma Bharti? What is the caste of Sadhvi Ritambhara? In this country, if anyone knows about religion, it is the pandits and the brahmins," he said.

Joshi's apology came after the Congress on Friday distanced itself from his statement with party President Rahul Gandhi asking him to apologise.

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