The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has slammed former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he wears “all sorts of outlandish headgear” but never wears a skull-cap and termed it is an “insult” to the people of the Northeast.
Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore on Monday started a feud with Shashi Tharoor on his Twitter handle after the Congress leader questioned PM Modi’s refusal to accept the skull cap, used words such as ‘outlandish’ and “hilarious” to describe the headgear from the Northeast.
Congress leader Tharoor made the remarks at a seminar in Kerala.
In his Twitter handle on Monday, Union Minister Rathore, while uploading a video of Tharoor, stated, “Shashi Tharoor insults the proud cultural heritage of the people of the northeast.”
A report published by ToI on Monday stated apart from Rathore, several other BJP leaders and ministers in the Union Government, too, accused Tharoor of hurting the sentiments of the people of the Northeast.
Tharoor, later in the day, slammed the BJP of using “tactics” to deflect attention from “irrefutable criticism”.
Shashi Tharoor in his Twitter handle stated: “The cynicism of the BJP is as impressive as their tactics. When confronted with an irrefutable criticism, they seize on an irrelevant detail, manufacture a fake controversy with the help of an obliging media, and change the narrative so it is about the detail and not the original critique!”
In the video tweeted by Rathore, Tharoor is seen questioning the PM over the reason of refusal a Muslim skull cap: “Why does our Prime Minister who wears all sorts of outlandish headgear wherever he goes around the country, around the world … why does he always refuse to wear a Muslim skull cap?”
He also stated: “You’ve seen in him hilarious … Naga headdress with feathers and you have seen him in various kinds of extraordinary outfits. Which is a right thing for a PM to do.”
Tharoor’s speech has been interpreted by Rathore as “condescension and arrogance” towards the people of the country.
While responding to Union Minister Rathore, Tharoor later said that Rathore was trying to “sidestep” the point which he had raised in his speech, i.e. why does PM avoid just one type of headgear.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, a northeastern State, demanded apology from the Congress party for Shashi Tharoor’s comment.
Rijiju on his Twitter handle, twitted, “I demand apology from the Congress Party for insulting the people of India’s North East & Tribals. Shashi Tharoor described North-East people & Naga Tribal headgears as funny looking outlandish & hilarious.”