Amid the row over a viral audio clip, the Congress party is now in a soup after insulting music maestro Bhupen Hazarika. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, questioned why Dr Bhupen Hazarika, who he said was just a singer, was conferred with the highest civilian award of the country.
Kharge, who expressed his displeasure at the Central Government for not conferring Bharat Ratna to Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swami, claimed Bhupen Hazarika was only a “singer” and that a singer and a man who propagates RSS ideology (Nanaji Deshmukh) were awarded but not Shivakumara Swami.
“This is sad. A singer and a man who propagates their RSS ideology have also been awarded. If you compare all of them, then Shivakumara Swami ji should have been given the award,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress: Govt had seen his work. Even then the BJP govt didn't give him the award. This is sad. A singer and a man who propagates their RSS ideology have also been awarded. If you compare all of them, then Shivakumara Swami ji should have been given the award https://t.co/wU69JMLjH6
— ANI (@ANI) January 26, 2019
Kharge’s comment stoked fresh fire with police registering an FIR at Morigaon police station on the basis of a comlaint filed against the Congress leader.
“It’s an insult to Dr Bhupen Hazarika. Kharge mentioned him only as a singer! Doesn’t he know how big a personality Bhupen Da is? If he doesn’t know, Assam Congress leaders should make him understand who the balladeer is. I demand Mallikarjun Kharge in particular and the Congress party in general should make an unconditional apology over the statements,” a resident of Guwahati said.
#BREAKING | After audio clip row, now senior #Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge insults #BharatRatna Dr #BhupenHazarika, questions why the highest civilian award was given to a "singer". People across #Assam flay Kharge for his insulting remarks against Dr Hazarika. pic.twitter.com/fphEM5hguZ
— NEWS LIVE (@NewsLiveGhy) January 27, 2019
Meanwhile, former three-time chief minister Tarun Gogoi also stirred another row when he claimed if the Congress had conferred Bharat Ratna on Dr Hazarika the party would not have got votes in return besides admitting to ideological differences with Dr Bhupen Hazarika.
He, however, said the central government under the Congress had awarded other top civilian honours, from Padma Shri to Padma Vibhushan, on Dr Hazarika.