Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor on Monday said that ruling LDF MLA K T Jaleel should not just “grudgingly withdraw” his controversial remarks, but also apologise to the nation “forthwith”. Taking to Twitter, Tharoor said that an MLA who has sworn an oath on the Constitution “has no business” making such “anti-national” remarks.
“On the @ktjaleel controversy, I do believe that an MLA who has sworn an oath on the Constitution has no business using anti-national terms like “Azad Kashmir” & “Indian-Occupied Kashmir”. He should not just grudgingly withdraw these terms but apologise to the nation forthwith,” the Congress leader tweeted. On Sunday, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had termed as “very unfortunate” and “totally unacceptable” the recent controversial remarks on Kashmir made on social media by Jaleel.
The ruling CPI(M) has distanced itself from the former minister’s remarks, saying they were not the party’s view. After his remarks kicked up a row, Jaleel withdrew his statement and at the same time claimed that the same was misinterpreted.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, reacting to the incident, had said that the Kerala government should not think that making Jaleel withdraw his comments was the end of the matter. He had said the BJP will take the issue forward till a permanent solution was found.
Meanwhile, a complaint has been made at the Thiruvananthapuram City Police Commissioner by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) state secretary N C T Sreehari seeking strict action against the MLA for his remarks. In his social media post on August 12, the Kerala MLA had said, “The part of Kashmir annexed to Pakistan was known as ‘Azad Kashmir’ and it was an area where the Pakistan government does not have direct control.” Jaleel, who was a minister in the previous CPI(M)-led LDF government, had also said “Indian adheena Jammu and Kashmir” consists of parts of Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh.” The comments had invited severe criticism from several people, especially BJP leaders.
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