Profiles of 5 BJP and VHP leaders who warned Muslims of ‘final battle’ in Agra meet

Union Minister of State for HRD, Katheria is one of the BJP’s Dalit faces, a professor and an aggressive activist with an RSS background.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Updated: October 14, 2016 8:00 pm
Ram Shankar Katheria in Parliament last week, making a statement on his comments. Prem Nath Pandey Ram Shankar Katheria in Parliament last week, making a statement on his comments. Prem Nath Pandey

Ram Shankar Katheria

> “If we don’t begin a struggle, tomorrow we will lose another (man). Doosra jane se pehle, yeh hatyare hi chale jayen is prakar ki taqat humein dikhani hogi

Union Minister of State for HRD, he is one of the BJP’s Dalit faces, a professor and an aggressive activist with an RSS background.

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Born in Etawah, Katheria lived close to the local RSS unit and went to serve for 13 years as a pracharak in and around Agra, the Lok Sabha constituency he now represents, before the BJP made him its district president a decade ago and then national general secretary in August 2014.

He is well connected to his voters; soon after VHP leader Arun Mahaur, a Dalit, was murdered last week, Katheria rushed to meet the family. Whenever in Agra, he meets people at his constituency office. On Thursdays, he takes complaints relating exclusively to electricity.

A professor of Hindi in Agra University, Katheria has taken leave after becoming an MP. He teaches chapters of Dalit Chetna and has written books such as Dalit Chetna ki Avashyakata, Samajik Ekta Ki Avashyakata and Dalit Sahitya aur Nain Chunautiyan.

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In his poll affidavit in 2014, Katheria declared 23 cases, mostly relating to obstructing public servants, rioting and unlawful assembly. His constituency representative Anil Chaudhary said most of these are of the kind politicians face for leading protests.

Listen to audio here

Chaudhary Babulal

> “If you want to test Hindus, then let’s decide a date and take on Muslims”

The MP from Fatehpur Sikri, he had quit the RLD to join the BJP months before the Lok Sabha elections, having apparently sensed that Jat voters would be inclined towards the BJP following the Muzaffarnagar riots. The prominent Jat leader had not carried the image of a champion of Hindutva until his speech last week. As reported in The Indian Express, he was once an accused in a 1990 case of violence against Dalits.

Babulal was an independent when he won the Fatehpur Sikri assembly seat in 1996 and with the RLD when he won in 2002, going on to become a minister of state in the SP-RLD government. He resigned in 2006 after his name came up in the murder case of Meerut University lecturer Kavita Chowdhary. Though he was not convicted, BJP sources said they were initially reluctant to induct him but changed their mind after the Muzaffarnagar riots as they sought to mobilise Jat voters. The decision to field Babulal from Fatehpur Sikri in 2014 had led to protests by local BJP workers, with some pamphlets describing the BJP as Babulal Janata Party and others carrying the message “BJP bachao, Babulal bhagao”.

He has been aggressive with party colleagues too. Last September, BJP district president Ashok Rana complained to police against Babulal, alleging the MP and others misbehaved with him and attacked district general secretary Rishi Upadhyay during a clash between two BJP groups.

Ashok Lavania

> “Agar hum Hindu naujwan apni maa se paida hue hain, eent ka jawab patthar se, khoon ka jawab khoon se denge (If we Hindus are born of our mother’s womb, we will reply in kind, with blood”

The Agra VHP president is a life insurance agent, his roots in the RSS since age 13 when he started attending shakhas and training sessions. After working with Bajrang Dal, Ashok has been with the VHP for the past 10 years. He has five cases lodged against him in Agra, all relating to communal clashes. One case was lodged around four months ago after he allegedly led a group that forcibly closed down a market area after some Muslims had allegedly assaulted a Hindu youth. He was jailed for two months in 2011 for celebrating Shaurya Diwas on the anniversary of the Ayodhya demolition, though police had asked him not to. “I will keep on fighting for Hindus if Muslims commit atrocities. The country will run according to the Hindu religion,” he told The Indian Express.

Kundanika Sharma

> “Chhapa maaro, burqa pehno, lekin inhen gher-gher kar le aao. Ek sar ke badle dus sar kaat lo”

The BJP corporator is a daughter of poet and lyricist Gopal Das Neeraj, Padma Bhushan. In office for three consecutive terms, she is the leader of BJP corporators in Agra Municipal Corporation as well as chairman of Bhasha Sansthan in the UP government, with the rank of a cabinet minister. A firebrand pro-Hindutva leader, Kundanika is also vice-president of BJP’s Braj region unit where party workers call her “Iron Lady”. She was a member of a committee that the BJP formed to promote the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao programme in UP. Earlier associated with Durga Vahini, women’s wing of VHP.

Jagan Prasad Garg

> “You will have to fire bullets, take up rifles, wield knives. Elections are approaching in 2017, start showing your strength.”

Four-time MLA from Agra North, he started his politics with ABVP in Agra College. Later treasurer in the BJP’s Mahanagar unit, he is also a member of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Janma-bhoomi Smarak Samiti run by the RSS in Mathura. Garg has a dairy business in Agra. BJP leaders said his statement at the Agra meeting was uncharacteristic of Garg, whom they described an an easy-going person on good terms with voters of all communities. “Garg never speaks ill of anyone, even his political rivals,” said a BJP leader.

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  1. A
    Aditi
    Mar 7, 2016 at 4:40 am
    why don't they cross the LOC and fight that FINAL Battle ? Why don't they reclaim the lost land of PoK ? Why don't they go and fight the Maoists in chattisgarh ? Because they are typical COWARDS of the saffron brigade. They don't have the courage to fight terrorists. they can only form Lynch Mobs and ault poor people for storing food in the fridge . They don't have the courage to take on large Pvt Slaughterhouses and Exports houses exporting beef but they will beat up poor tempo drivers for transporting carces.
    Reply
    1. A
      arun
      Mar 7, 2016 at 7:40 am
      The RSS bakhts are not confident about their religion. They could contribute towards converting people to their religion and offer huge sums of money to those who accept to get converted. They should aggressively canvas their religion to the minorities and convert them peacefully and democratically.
      Reply
      1. B
        Bhadhra Samaj
        Mar 7, 2016 at 3:08 pm
        Like wise why dont the press and media release list of Anti national and anti hindu People from other parties.....oh just because they support them for their Separatist agenda and vested interest.
        Reply
        1. S
          Sundar BN
          Mar 7, 2016 at 4:44 am
          someone here said, "if hate speech is wrong..." .... Odd, the country thought it was very very wrong which was why some folks were recently hauled up to Tihar jail. Even the VVIPs in the Parliament are roaring like lions against 'hate speech'. Of course, they won't open their tails when the mull4hs of Pompore indulge in 'hate speech' but only when college students do. maybe, discretion is the better part of their valour which is why they won't really take on the muezzins of pompore?
          Reply
          1. B
            B. SRIDHAR
            Mar 7, 2016 at 6:01 am
            There can be no second opinion or thought that these miscreants should be shown their rightful place. But can there be double standards for one set of people and another. Where was the author and IE when a cleric offered a bounty of Rs.51 lakh to Kamlesh Tiwari who is roaming scotfree. Where was the author and IE and where is the author and IE when Mani a a Communist Leader from Kerala openly bragged that they do eliminate rivals and will continue to do so and he is even charged in a political murder. Why is that IE is shamelessly on the front when profiling BJP miscreants where as it turns the other way for other equally if not more dangerous people!
            Reply
            1. C
              chaddi gang
              Mar 7, 2016 at 4:35 am
              The greatest irony of all is that no one is detaining them.....if it were to be any dalit, or a muzzy....... even if he is a minister they would have arrested him... BJP has proved that it has won elections on communal hatred rather then development..... Also the murder of a person should be condemned but not with another murder...
              Reply
              1. I
                IslamForFoools
                Mar 7, 2016 at 10:48 am
                ALlah k muh me bullah
                Reply
                1. I
                  IslamForFoools
                  Mar 7, 2016 at 4:55 am
                  Love them all, real heroes and real humans fighting islamic terrorism unlike coward sickularists
                  Reply
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