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Muzaffarnagar (UP): In a derogatory reference to Jawaharlal Nehru, a BJP legislator has called his entire family ayyash' a word that connotes pleasure seeking and self indulgence.

The Khatauli MLA said this at the sidelines of an event here to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday on Tuesday.

Nehru to ayyash tha, he said in Hindi, referring to the country's first prime minister.

The entire family was `ayyash'. Rajiv (Gandhi) married in Italy, Saini added.

Questioned by a television channel later about his remarks, the MLA claimed he was saying only what he had read about Nehru in books and magazines.

He was a colourful character, he had a relationship with an Englishwoman, he added.

When pressed about his use of the Urdu word, he said, I am sorry if anyone has been hurt by this. It won't happen again, he later said.

When contacted, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma refused to comment on the issue.

Saini triggered a row last month, saying the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status will enable men from the rest of India to find wives from that region.

The politician was accused of inciting violence during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
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