New Delhi: After the Opposition raised their voice against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari who was seen wearing military fatigues, the actor-turned-politician on Monday hit back saying that he feels proud to wear it and respecting the armed forces is a patriotic gesture.
Tiwari was participating in the party's 'Sankalp Bike Rally' in the national capital, with an aim to connect with the voters ahead of the coming Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for April-May.
"From time to time, I wear armed forces' caps, t-shirts. I feel proud to wear it and to respect the armed forces is patriotism. The people of the country are proud to wear it," Tiwari who was wearing an Army t-shirt told ANI.
Attacking the opposition parties, Tiwari claimed that those criticizing him were people who "do not love the country and respect the armed forces", adding that the people of the country will give a "befitting response".
Asked whether donning Army colour clothes is an offence, the Delhi BJP chief replied, "No, it's not. At this time, it is the colour of patriotism. Not only me, 125 crore Indians wear it and they feel proud."
Responding to Opposition's allegations of trying to politicise the airstrikes on JeM terror camp in Pakistan, Tiwari said, "This is their pain. They were in power for a long time and did not do any airstrikes. When they (IAF) went, there were so many dangers, including whether they will return safely or not. We are backing our forces to boost their morale."
"Our country comes first, then party and then us," he added.
On Sunday, Tiwari defended his move of wearing an Army jacket, saying he was expressing his solidarity. He questioned that if he wore a Nehru jacket in the future, then would it be an insult to the nation's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
"I wore simply because I felt proud of my Army. I am not in Indian army but I was expressing my feeling of solidarity. Why should it be treated like an insult? I have the highest regard for our Army By logic tomorrow If I wear a Nehru Jacket will it be an insult to Jawaharlal Nehru?" the actor-turned-politician tweeted.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O' Brien, slammed Tiwari for donning military fatigues, calling it "shameless".
"Shameless. Shameless. Shameless. Manoj Tewari BJP MP and Delhi President wearing Armed Forces uniform and seeking votes. BJP-Modi-Shah insulting and politicising our jawans. And then giving lectures on patriotism. Low life," he tweeted....