Sonali Phogat, TikTok fame and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s candidate for the Haryana elections has clarified and apologized for her remarks over shouting at a crowd and ordering them to chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'. Phogat, who gained popularity on the social media video app TikTok, filed her nomination on October 4 from Adampur. She will be contesting from a constituency represented by political heavyweight Kuldeep Bishnoi, a three-time legislator, and son of three-time Haryana chief minister, late Bhajan Lal.
In an attempt to clear misunderstandings, she said, "I was in Balsamand for a public rally, there were a few college students there. When I started speaking and raised slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', those boys did not raise the slogans. I was angry and asked them if they have come from Pakistan. I apologize if I have hurt someone's sentiments but all I wanted was to tell them that we should say 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' to give respect to our nation."
The BJP kicked off their campaigning in the state, with Party President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressing as many as three rallies on Wednesday, October 9. In the rallies, he attacked the Congress government on multiple issues and brought light of the BJP's achievements in the state, which returned to power in May this year.
He said, "Rahulji, direct the abuses towards me, direct it towards Modiji even direct it towards my party or the Constitution but if you talk against my Motherland (Bharat Mata) I will make sure that all those who do will be jailed. The way in which the Congress leadership is functioning, the whole party is silent for the good of a single-family. Modi Ji in a single session removed Triple Talaq, the Congress opposed it. They opposed abrogation of Article 370, surgical strikes, airstrikes, I want to ask them, in which direction are you all going?”
He continued criticising the Congress party and claimed that no work or development had taken place in the state under the rule of the Congress party. Notably, Haryana, along with Maharashtra will go to polls on October 21. The counting of the votes will take place on Thursday, October 24.