BJP MP Paresh Rawal claims tweet on Arundhati Roy was a message of peace, terms controversy 'baseless'

After dragging himself into a controversy with his tweet where Bollywood actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal suggested that the Indian Army should tie Indian author Arundhati Roy to an army jeep instead of stone-pelters, Rawal on Thursday justified his action and called the controversy "baseless" as his tweet was a message of "peace".

"This is a baseless argument. Arundhati is a well-wisher of the stone pelters. They are her followers. If she (Arundhati) sits on the jeep, there will be no pelting of stones. Arundhati will also understand, and get a first-hand experience of the conditions that the Army has to face," Rawal told CNN-News18 on Thursday.

File image of Paresh Rawal. CNN News18

File image of Paresh Rawal. CNN News18

Implying that the responses to his tweet should have rather been considered offensive, Rawal said, "Shehla Rashid also replied saying Gautam Gambhir should be tied to the jeep. She also provided a morphed picture to support the statement. But she is also revolutionary, so she won't be targeted."

Rawal also brought Congress MP Digvijay Singh's tweet into account. "Singh also asked to tie the person responsible for the BJP-PDP alliance (in Kashmir). Who is indulging in an inflammatory talk here? " he asked.

Rawal insisted that his statement was positive in nature and there weren't any wrong intentions behind it. "My comment was that of peace. Maine toh shanti ka kabootar choda tha. No one will pelt stones at Arundhati," the BJP MP said. "I am a citizen first and then a BJP MP. It is the duty of every citizen to support the army. I am a citizen of the country and will always be one," he added.

Rawal's tweet came on the lines of Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi's order of tying a Kashmiri man to the bonnet of an army jeep to deter stone-pelters from targeting the troops and election officials, and the subsequent commendation of the act from the Indian Army.

On Sunday, Rawal, a National Award-winner, suggested on Twitter that Roy should be tied to an army jeep instead of a stone-pelter. His tweet was widely condemned on social media, as many accused him of inciting violence.

The BJP also distanced itself from his remark. Union Minister Smriti Irani tweeted saying, "Nowhere will we, in any way, support any violent message by anybody, against any individual of the country." Rawal later deleted his tweet.

Rawal later deleted his tweet.

Published Date: May 25, 2017 17:40 PM | Updated Date: May 25, 2017 17:40 PM

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