After litterateur’s apology, BJP’s Pune leaders withdraw stir

Pune (Maharashtra), Jan 13 (IANS) A day after literary figure Shripal Sabnis tendered a written apology for his remarks critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP’s city unit on Wednesday decided to withdraw its agitation against him.

Rajya Sabha MP Amar Sable – who threatened to parade an effigy of Sabnis on a donkey – said he was satisfied with the apology and would not disrupt the upcoming four-day 89th All India Marathi Literary Conference beginning in Pimpri-Chinchwad on Friday.

State BJP spokesman Madhav Bhandari also acknowledged the development.

Under pressure and threats from BJP activists and other right-wing groups, Sabnis wrote a letter to Modi in which he expressed regrets over the use of certain words which he said were construed as offensive.

“I am restless, pained and feeling sorry. I am withdrawing my words. I hope you will give your best wishes to the conference to be held at Pimpri, Pune,” Sabnis said in the letter to Modi.

Refusing to drag the controversy further, Sabnis appealed to all lovers of Marathi literature to forget the episode and strive to make the literary meet a success.

Sabnis’ outburst at a college function last week attracted widespread criticism from the BJP and other organisations and even threats to “break his limbs and kill him” were issued.

Several organisations and groups came out in his support while the Pune police provided him security.

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