BJP district vice-president Jagadish Adhikari’s statement allegedly defaming senior Congress leader B. Janardhana Poojary, and his comments about Billavas and the revered twins Koti Chennayya, has put him in the dock.
Though Mr. Adhikari apologised for his statements, the Congress and other organisations have demanded disciplinary action against him.
BJP district president Sudhershan Moodbidri said a notice was issued asking Mr. Adhikari’s explanation and he was directed to seek an apology of Billavas and Mr. Poojary.
In a meeting of the association of hereditary trustees of temples and other religious institutions held five days ago, Mr. Adhikari reportedly spoke about continued tradition of giving respect to religious institutions. He said he was against the practice of touching the feet of leaders like Mr. Poojary for seeking blessings for political career. He reiterated this during a conversation with his friend on phone a couple of days ago. wherein he is heard speaking about Billavas and Koti Chennayya.
“I apologise for my conduct which has hurt Billavas and Mr. Poojary’s followers. My statement has been trolled out of context and I did not in any way demean Billavas, with whom I continue to work and Mr. Poojary, whom I continue to hold in high esteem. There is no question of speaking about Koti Chennayya in a demeaning way,” Mr. Adhikari told The Hindu.
Congress district president K. Harish Kumar said Mr. Adhikari should apologise in public within the next one week. If he failed to do so, the Congress would be forced to launch an agitation.
Condemning the reported statement of Mr. Adhikari about Billavas, Vishwa Hindu Parishad Mangaluru Divisional Secretary Sharan Pumpwell said by doing so Mr. Adhikari has insulted the Hindu community. Mr. Adhikari should tender public apology.
The Akhila Bharatha Hindu Mahasabha too made the same demand.