The BJP on Tuesday distanced itself from controversial remarks by some party leaders over protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, but took exception to “provocative slogans and placards” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath by protesters.
“I would have condemned (controversial statements of BJP leaders) more strongly if it had not been started by them (protesters),” party general-secretary Anil Jain said on Tuesday. “But if things boil one’s blood, how can they not say such things? Have intellectuals protested the comments made against the PM?”
Meanwhile, continuing with his campaign in support of CAA, which is facing people’s protests in many parts of the country, BJP president and Home Minister Amit Shah will address a rally in Vaishali, Bihar, on Thursday.
The rally takes place two days after Bihar Chief Minister and NDA ally Nitish Kumar declared in Assembly that he is open to a debate on CAA, which political observers see as a signal of Nitish’s reservation on the new law, even though his party, JD(U), voted in favour of the citizenship Bill in Parliament.
“The rally will also be an opportunity to send clear signals to the confused ally,” a BJP leader said.
With the party leadership going aggressive about its arguments in support of CAA, Lok Sabha MP and West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh had on Monday praised the BJP governments in Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka for killing protesters “like dogs”.
Another party leader from Uttar Pradesh, Raghuraj Singh, said people shouting slogans against Modi and Adityanath will be “buried alive”.
“The BJP does not support these statements…. The party does not agree with them,” Anil Jain said. However, he argued, BJP leaders make such statements because there have been “objectionable slogans and posters” against Modi and Adityanath in the protests. “You cannot even read them (they are so offensive). What kind of posters were taken out by so-called intellectuals in Mumbai against Modi-ji and Hindus? How can you do this while living in this country? Can you do it in a Muslim country? Can you do it in any Christian country? But we are tolerating it.”
That, Jain said, triggered “such reactions” from BJP leaders.
He also justified party MP Meenakshi Lekhi’s jibe at Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who voiced concern over the fallout of the amended citizenship law in India. Lekhi tweeted that Nadella’s comments showed “how the literate need to be educated”.
Jain said: “The statement is fine. He (Nadella) is not illiterate, but not educated about this. I would say all those fighting are not properly educated about the law — CAA is not something that is to be opposed by anyone, because it is not against any citizen of this country. It is meant to give some sort of relief to those who are persecuted in neighbouring countries.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines