As former Prime Minister and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned 92 on December 25, there was something that is sure to give the BJP goosebumps.
You may call it ignorance or sheer slip of a tongue, but BJP’s Aligarh mayor, Shakuntala Bharti, referred to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as “deceased” while delivering a speech on the veteran politician’s birthday.
“Bharat ke purv Pradhan Mantri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji hamare beech me nahin rahe, lekin unki yadein hai (Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji is no longer with us but his memories remain),” she said, and shocked everyone in the meeting.
However, later on she tried to correct herself and claimed that she had referred to “Malviya ji” and not “Vajpayee ji”.
When shown the video she regreted her remarks. However, she said that she had “great” respect for the former prime minister and wished him a long and healthy life.
But this has not gone down well with other BJP leaders. Narendra Pauchauri, former member, Jila Panchayat, Aligarh, even advised her to refrain from making public speeches, if she is so ignorant.
Earlier this year in an apparent slip of tongue, Haryana Minister Manish Grover said those having black money need not worry as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is standing with them.
Sports Minister Vijay Goyal too faced flak for when he referred to Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu as ‘gold medallists’, even though they’d won bronze and silver respectively.
Likewise, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had referred to PoK as “India-occupied Kashmir” while criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s utterances on Pakistan.