My remarks on nurses have no political relevance, says Vishwas

Aam Admi Party leader Kumar Vishwas, whose alleged derogatory remarks against Kerala nurses sparked a controversy, apologised saying it was never his intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. “I must say that I don’t appreciate any discrimination based on religion, region, gender, caste or creed,” he said.

He added that his comments had no “political relevance.”

The poet-turned-politician said: “Will the Congress apologise for Raj Babbar’s ‘rape’ in the film Insaaf Ka Tarazu, will Shatrughan Sinha apologise for the rape scene in Shaitaan? I will apologise but first let them find a single line in my poems where I have hurt sentiments. The scripts at these sammelans are situational; they don’t have any political or factual relevance.”

Mr. Vishwas, who has been actively campaigning in Amethi, the constituency of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, said old issues were being raised as part of a political conspiracy against him.

“If the Congress feels that by raising such issues they will stop the AAP, they are wrong,” he said. A 2008 video, where Mr. Vishwas purportedly made racist and sexist remarks on nurses in Kerala, has gone viral on the social media, sparking protests and a political uproar.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gandhi, who began his two-day tour of Amethi on Wednesday, had his cavalcade greeted by AAP workers waving black flags and shouting anti-Congress slogans. He was accompanied by his sister Priyanka Vadra.

This is Mr. Gandhi’s first visit to his constituency since the AAP declared that Mr. Vishwas would stand from the Amethi constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

While details of Mr. Gandhi's visit could not be obtained, he was scheduled to meet party workers and review progress of centrally-sponsored welfare schemes like the MGNREGA and NRHM. He is scheduled to host an open interactive session with party workers on Thursday.

Mr. Vishwas has been campaigning in Amethi since January 12. According to the AAP sources, Mr. Vishwas regularly holds meetings with party workers and tours villages in the area. He plans to engage more with gram panchayats and highlight the false promises made by the Congress, said a source. The AAP also plans to stage a jan sabha in the constituency on January 27 or 28.

Mr. Vishwas, who says he will fight the election on the issue of Amethi's poor infrastructure, has been urging voters in Amethi to dump dynasty politics. Last week Mr. Vishwas even paid a visit to the same Dalit house Mr. Gandhi visited in 2008.

Mr. Gandhi's visit to Amethi was postponed earlier this month due to poor weather conditions. He was scheduled to inaugurate nine branches of the State Bank of India, an FM radio station, and also address his supporters at the Ramlila Ground, where the AAP held its first rally.

Congress spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi dismissed speculation that Mr. Gandhi’s earlier visit was postponed due to the AAP rally the following day.

More In: National | News | Kerala