Panaji: Audio footage of the BJP's Goa vice president Sanjay Harmalkar threatening to "beat up" JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar if he comes to Goa University to deliver a speech has gone viral. The BJP leader denied saying he wanted to beat up the student leader.
While the Goa University Post Graduate Students Union condemned Harmalkar's comments against the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president, Harmalkar told IANS he had only called Kanhaiya an anti-national and insisted that he did not threaten him with a beating.
"I get the feeling that he (Kanhaiya) will come to Goa University to make a speech. I will go there alone if need be and beat him up. It does not matter to me what the BJP or the government says," Harmalkar was heard saying in the audio footage.
He was speaking at a national seminar on 'Sant Sahitya' at the Goa University campus on Monday.
"You know I belong to the BJP right? I am the BJP vice president. But if the BJP tries to stop me, I will not spare the BJP too. I am that kind of a person," he said.
Harmalkar also blamed a range of political leaders from Kanhaiya Kumar to former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for trying to break the country into pieces.
"You are out to divide our country, when you are studying because tax-payers are funding your education and yet you are out to break the country?" Harmalkar is heard saying in the audio footage.
In response to the statement, the GUPGSU said it will not tolerate such speeches in the university campus.
"He dared Kanhaiya not to enter GU campus with his ideologies and further added that he personally will slap Kanhaiya if he happens to enter the GU campus. The post graduate students union of GU has taken serious note of the comments made by Sanjay Harmalkar," spokesperson Rahul Naik said.
Harmalkar, however, denied that he had said anything about beating up Kanhaiya.
"I did not say 'I will beat him'. I said in my speech that we should oppose him (Kanhaiya) because he is anti-national. We do not like anti-India thoughts. What he said about azadi and breaking up India is not a part of Indian culture," Harmalkar said.
Kanhaiya Kumar and other students from JNU were arrested on sedition charges, that had triggered an uproar in the country.