Mumbai University professor Yogesh Soman, who was reported to have been sent on compulsory leave for his "objectionable" comments on former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, has said that he remains firm on his statement. Speaking to reporters in Pune, Soman clarified that he is in the city for a pre-planned workshop and to attend an event.
"I'm firm on what I said. Information of me being sent on forced leave is what I'm getting via media. I'll give official statement when official inquiry is held," Soman, the director of MU's Academy of Theatre Arts, said.
He added that he was in Pune to attend an acting workshop where he will be sharing his acting experience with students. "A cultural programme has been organised here for tomorrow's Jayanti of Balasaheb Thackery and I will be part of it with Shiv Sena Chitrapeeth Sena."
Soman came under the spotlight after posting a video blog on Facebook on December 14. He was responding to Rahul Gandhi mocking freedom fighter Veer Savarkar in a public rally.
On December 28, the NSUI, the student wing of Congress called for a criminal complaint to be registered against Soman for making objectionable remarks about Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the video blog.
NSUI held a number of rallies on the Mumbai University campus to demand Soman's ouster. Thereafter, the Mumbai University's fact-finding committee found merit in the allegations. The university administration also clarified that there were other complaints against him as well.
BJP then accused the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government of perpetuating an environment of intolerance. BJP I-T cell chief Amit Malviya questioned Sena's silence on Rahul Gandhi's Veer Savarkar comment and also asked if the government will now send CM Uddhav Thackeray on a leave too?