BJP leaders' silly remarks scuttle party's CAA campaign

BJP leaders' silly remarks scuttle party's CAA campaign

The rabble rousing remarks from BJP lawmakers have come amidst the party’s renewed efforts to reach out to people

BJP supporters take part in 'Tiranga Yatra' in support of CAA and NRC, in Praygaraj, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Motormouths have put the BJP in a fix at a time when it is reaching out to people to clear “misgivings” on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and to douse the protest fire spreading in almost every state.

On Saturday, the party was subject to fresh embarrassment when Uttar Pradesh minister Giriraj Singh threatened to "bury alive" those protesting against the CAA and the NRC while the party’s MP from Medinipur in West Bengal Dilip Ghosh threatened to shoot and kill CAA protesters recalling how they were “shot like dogs” in Uttar Pradesh and Assam.

While Giriraj made the statement at an event by the BJP to spread awareness about the CAA, Ghosh is the state BJP chief of West Bengal.

The remarks created a storm of protests on Twitter with people questioning the BJP leaders’ attitudes towards democracy. Youth Congress President Srinivas BV tweeted, “Disgusting and despicable! This is the party who thinks of people as dogs, to be beaten, to be shot! I strongly condemn such horrific comments by BJP leader Dilip Ghosh."

Sensing the damage that such remarks can cause, the party has gone into damage control mode. Quickly distancing itself from the remarks of Ghosh, Union Minister Babul Supriyo, also an MP from West Bengal, dismissed Ghosh's remarks as a “figment of his imagination,” asserting that the BJP had nothing to with Ghosh's statement. He also reminded people that the BJP governments in UP and Assam had never resorted to shooting people for any reason whatsoever. “Very irresponsible of Dilip da to have said what he said,” Supriyo said.

These were not isolated remarks. UP MLA Vikram Saini on Friday suggested that Pakistan should also introduce the CAA and take back persecuted Muslim minorities from India and backed "adla badali” exchange of persecuted people on both sides. This was days after BJP MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar from Telangana threatened that those opposing the CAA and the NRC would be sent to Pakistan in “buses without brakes”.  

Kumar had made those remarks at a rally organised in support of the CAA in Warangal, where he also threatened CAA protesters, saying, “if you throw stones, we will hurl bombs. If you use sticks, we will retaliate with knives. If you hurl bombs, we will hit back with launchers. The war has begun. We will not spare anybody.”

The rabble-rousing remarks from BJP lawmakers have come amidst the party’s renewed efforts to reach out to people, especially Muslims to convince them that the CAA does not in way attempt to take away anyone’s citizenship.

The BJP has organised a door-to-door campaign, conducting over 500 meetings and rallies in 42 cities to cover three crore people in its outreach initiative. Last week, a number of Muslim party workers of the BJP quit in Bhopal.

There is a perception in the Sangh Parivar that the government needs to reach out to all sections to convince them and allay apprehensions if any. While the party has taken many damage control measures, such remarks by some of its leaders will further compound their problems.

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