Mumbai, Oct 30: Terming the return of awards by filmmakers and writers as "hypocrisy of the Leftists", Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday asserted that BJP had a right to appoint its members to institutes such as FTII.
"Returning of awards is a hypocrisy of the leftists," he said during an event of TV Today network here. Stating that there have been many incidents in the country since 1947, he wondered why the filmmakers or the literati did not take such steps in the past.
Why didn't the repeated terror attacks in Mumbai prompt the same people to return their awards, he asked.
On the controversial appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan to the Film and Television Institute of India, Gadkari said the students cannot decide who the chairman should be. As the ruling party, BJP will appoint its members as the heads of institutes, which, the Union Minister said, has been the practise in Indian democracy for long.
It was unfair to target the BJP-led Union government for incidents like the murder of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and the Dadri lynching, as both the incidents had happened in the states ruled by other parties, he said.
The controversial statements by BJP leaders such as Sakshi Maharaj should be ignored as they did not represent the party's views, Gadkari claimed.
It was difficult to discipline everybody into making responsible statements, the minister said, stressing that BJP chief Amit Shah had conveyed the party's displeasure to these leaders.
The Nagpur MP also said casteism is a ground reality and also commended BJP's ally Shiv Sena's founder Bal Thackeray for creating a party beyond casteism.
The remark comes even as the relations between the ruling allies BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra are increasingly under strain.
On BJP's chances in the ongoing Bihar polls, Gadkari exuded confidence that the party will win the elections being fought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but added it had also seen worst of the defeats in its history.