New Delhi: With his recent statement on Hindi language attracting massive criticism from across the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah issued a clarification on Wednesday saying, "I never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages and had only requested for learning Hindi as the 2nd language after one’s mother tongue. I myself come from a non-Hindi state of Gujarat. If some people want to do politics, its their choice."

On Saturday, Shah had pitched for a common language for the country and said it is Hindi which is spoken the most and that it can unite the whole nation. The home minister had also said efforts would be made to expand Hindi to different parts of the country and asked everyone to use their native languages as much as possible. "India has many languages and every language has its importance. But it is absolutely necessary that the entire country should have one language that becomes India's identity globally," he had said.

The remarks had drawn widespread criticism from various south Indian leaders including DMK President MK Stalin and Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Incidentally, Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP veteran B. S. Yediyurappa also asserted Kannada was the principal language in his state and that its importance would never be compromised. While all official languages in the country were equal, Kannada was the principal language in Karnataka and there will be no compromise with its importance, he had said.