In a statement issued to media Mr Shetty said that he was deeply distressed to note that there was a lot of noise over certain observations made by Mr Poojary regarding his saffron clothes during his induction ceremony on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda in Mangalore.
“I reaffirm that I have highest respect for Mr Poojary as he is an old soldier of the Congress party. He is held in high esteem for being non-corrupt and lakhs of poor people have benefitted from his hard work, which we should not forget. As Mr Poojary himself later clarified, his observations were taken out of context and I feel it would be highly disrespectful to a man of his stature to harass or humiliate him on the pretext of this non-issue,” he said.
“Mr. Poojary is well known for single handedly striving for the uplift of the downtrodden, economically and socially backward people and his organizing abilities and social confidence are second to none. Instead to highlighting this small non-issue, it would be more appropriate for us to remember his enormous contributions and respect his leadership,” said Mr Shetty.
However, Mr Shetty clarified that he had always been wearing saffron and would continue to do so. “I had appraised the party leaders regarding this before joining the party and perhaps this matter was not communicated to all within the party. In this regard I wish to further clarify that colour is not important; what really matters is the work we do for the people,” he added.