Mumbai: Veteran actor Paresh Rawal on Friday apologised for his statement linking gas cylinders, Bengalis and fish during a campaign speech in Gujarat, saying his reference was to illegal Bangladeshis and Rohingyas.
The apology came after a huge backlash from the Bengali community and some others on social media.
"Of course the fish is not the issue as Gujaratis do cook and eat fish. But let me clarify by Bengali I meant illegal Bangladeshi N Rohingya. But still if I have hurt your feelings and sentiments I do apologise," the 67-year-old actor and former BJP MP wrote on Twitter.
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra didn't seem too impressed.
"Actually Kemchho Slapstickman need not have apologised. The 2nd part of Cook Fish like Bengalis is 'Have Brains like Bengalis'. Most nobel laureates than any other Indian state, buddy boy…," she posted on Twitter.
Rawal had taken up the issue of gas cylinder prices, an emotive poll issue, at a BJP rally in Valsad district on Tuesday.
"Gas cylinders are expensive, but their price will come down. People will get employment too. But what will happen if Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis start living around you, like in Delhi? "What will you do with gas cylinders? Cook fish for the Bengalis?" Rawal had said.
The first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections were held on Thursday and the second phase will take place on December 5. The votes will be counted on December 8.