A day after sparking a huge controversy with his statement on Hindi heartland states, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP, DNV Senthil Kumar S, on Wednesday expressed regret and issued an apology. Senthil Kumar said he had "inadvertently" made the remarks in the Lok Sabha.
"The statement was made by me yesterday inadvertently. If it hurt the sentiments of the members and sections of the people, I would like to withdraw it. I request the words to be expunged. I regret it," the DMK MP said.
His remark on Tuesday, which criticised the BJP's electoral success in Hindi heartland states, was criticised by several political leaders.
Senthil Kumar said, "The power of the BJP is in winning elections mainly in Hindi heartland states. You cannot come to South India." Then he used a term to define the Hindi heartland states that was derogatory and triggered a storm.
After the criticism of Senthil Kumar's speech, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla expunged the remarks made by him in the House.
The DMK MP's remark came amid the controversial debate on the north-south divide that started immediately after the Assembly poll results of four states were declared on Sunday. The BJP won three Hindi heartland states, while the Congress wrested Telangana from the Bharat Rashtra Samithi.
Taking to social media, Senthil Kumar apologised for his comment, saying, "Commenting on the results of the five recent state assembly elections, I have used a word in an inappropriate way. Not using that term with any intent, I apologize for sending the wrong meaning across."
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