Days after the furore over the induction of the Rama Sene’s Pramod Muthalik into the party, the BJP was hit by another controversy Friday with vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi objecting to the party admitting JD(U) Muslim leader Sabir Ali in uncharacteristically strong language and even linking him to Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal.
“Terrorist Bhatakal friend join BJP…soon accepting dawood (sic),” Naqvi tweeted hours after Ali was inducted.
“Mistakes made knowingly or unknowingly should be corrected immediately at the earliest,” Naqvi subsequently told The Indian Express. He said if Muthalik’s induction could be reversed following the outrage over him being seen as a Right-wing fanatic, the same could be applied to Ali too.
A controversial Muslim leader from Bihar, Ali was taken into the BJP even though some leaders had reservations as he is believed to support the views of Bhatkal, which runs counter to the BJP’s strong stance against terrorism.
Naqvi’s sentiments were echoed by Rajeshwar Chaurasia, national secretary and an MLA in Bihar who has been working with Narendra Modi’s aide Amit Shah in UP. Chaurasia said Ali’s induction smelled of a conspiracy.
“People like Sabir Ali are being brought into the party as part of a conspiracy. These kind of people who have often attacked RSS, BJP and even Narendra Modi should immediately be thrown out of the party,” he said.
However, those backing Ali’s entry said Naqvi may have reacted strongly as he may be feeling threatened by another vocal Muslim leader. Bihar BJP sources said while Ali may not bring votes, he would be a handle to puncture Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s pro-minority credentials.
Ali, who has praised Modi and attacked “secular parties”, said he had met BJP president Rajnath Singh and expressed interest in joining the party and was inducted at his behest.
Ali was expelled from the JD(U) after he praised Modi.
The BJP leadership is learnt to have taken a strong view over Naqvi’s public disapproval of Ali’s induction. “Naqvi should substantiate his charges failing which he could face the heat from the leadership,” a BJP source said, adding that the party was in discussion over handling the latest controversy.