A BJP MLA today sparked a new controversy as he said that star cricketer Virat Kohli is not a patriot because he chose Italy as his marriage destination.
“Virat has earned money and fame in India and he went to Italy to get married. Bhagwan Ram got married on this land, Bhagwan Krishna got married on this land and this man went to Italy to get married. He cannot be a rashtra bhakt [patriot],” said Panna Lal Shakya, BJP MLA from Guna, Madhya Pradesh.
He added that Kohli cannot be an inspiration to Indians as only those who are loyal to their country and swore by it deserved to be an inspiration. He said the same about Anushka Sharma as well. Shakya was inaugurating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Skill India Centre in Guna.
In an unusual jibe Shakya said that dancers of Italy became billionaires in India while Kohli took India’s wealth out of the country.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s outburst against the cricket star and celebrated captain of Indian cricket team came as a surprise as BJP MLA questioned Virat’s patriotism.
The opposition Congress party has described Sakya’s comments targetting Virat Kohli the direct impact of the outcome of the Gujarat polls .
“The message from Gujarat is clear. The BJP now realises that they cannot survive in Madhya Pradesh without raking up the issue of nationalism. Their supreme leader questioned the integrity of a former army chief, a former prime minister and a former vice-president to divide society and win votes in Gujarat,” Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi told India Today.
Chaturvedi termed the rant of the BJP MLA deplorable and said that such tactics won’t help Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh goes to the polls by the end of 2018 and the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government that has been rocked by a series of scams including the Vyapam scam is fighting an anti-incumbency of 15 years. Chouhan has recently lost the Bhind and Chitrakoot by-elections.