Congress Leader CP Joshi Gets Election Panel Notice On "Brahmins" Remark

Congress leader CP Joshi is contesting the December 7 Rajasthan assembly election from Nathdwara constituency

CP Joshi's comments are against the Congress party's principles, Rahul Gandhi has said

New Delhi:

The Election Commission has sent a notice to Congress leader CP Joshi for his controversial comments that "only Brahmins know enough to talk about Hinduism". He has been told to reply by 11 pm on Sunday.

Mr Joshi is contesting the December 7 Rajasthan assembly election from Nathdwara constituency.

A controversy broke out after a video of the former union minister's comments at an election rally in Nathdwara was tweeted by a BJP lawmaker. Mr Joshi was lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union minister Uma Bharti.

"Uma Bharti is a Lodhi, and she talks about Hinduism, Modi ji talks about Hinduism. It's only Brahmins who don't talk about it. In 50 years they have lost their mind. The country is being misled... Religion and governance are two different things. Everyone has the right to practice their religion," Mr Joshi says in the video.

"They say a Congress leader can't be a Hindu. Who gave them the authority to issue certificates? Have they opened a university? If anyone knows about religion in this country then its Pandits, Brahmins," he says.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi rebuked Mr Joshi and told him to apologise for his controversial comment, which the Rajasthan leader duly did in a tweet. "CP Joshi's comments are against the Congress party's principles. No party leader should make statements that hurt any section of the society," Rahul Gandhi tweeted in swift damage control.

Rahul Gandhi's intervention didn't impress BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, who "challenged" the Congress to "sack CP Joshi within one hour".

The Congress sees a good chance of snatching Rajasthan from the BJP, on the back of anti-incumbency sentiment. This was not the first embarrassing video it has confronted in its campaign for polls in Rajasthan and three other states.

Earlier this week, the party's Madhya Pradesh chief Kamal Nath was caught on video apparently saying if Muslims didn't vote en masse for the Congress, it is doomed.

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