On a day when the BJP leadership asked its leaders to refrain from remarks that could further vitiate the atmosphere in the wake of the Dadri killing over rumours of cow slaughter, party MP Sakshi Maharaj warned that “insults” to one’s “biological mother”, “Bharat mata” and “gau mata” would continue to evoke strong reactions.
“If someone insults our mother, we would rather die than tolerate it… for us, it is Bharat mata, our biological mother and gau mata,” the MP from Unnao said.
According to him, people will be ready to kill or get killed if a terrorist attacks “Bharat mata”. “It is the same with one’s biological mother and gau mata,” he told ANI.
Questioning UP Minister Azam Khan’s move to seek UN intervention on the “miseries” of minorities in India, the MP said: “I want to ask (UP Minister and SP leader) Mohd Azam Khan and those who favour eating beef as to how would they feel if someone they revere as their mother is cut.”
Maharaj’s remarks came after a “strict directive” was issued by the party leadership asking its leaders not to make any provocative statements on the issue.
BJP sources said its leaders — except the local MLA and MP — have also been told not to visit Dadri, where 50-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq was beaten to death in Bisara village last Monday by a mob over rumours that his family slaughtered a cow and consumed beef.
“The BJP strongly believes that the Dadri incident and the developments that followed were created by the Samajwadi Party which is keen to hide its failures. By adding to the controversy, BJP leaders should not make the situation conducive for them (SP) to cash in and claim political advantage,” a BJP leader told The Indian Express.
The directive came on the day the RSS distanced itself from the Dadri fallout, with its All India Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya saying that those behind the killing should be punished.
Maharaj, a former Rajya Sabha member of the Samajwadi Party (SP), alleged that “some political parties only think of Muslims as voters and not as human beings”. In a veiled reference to SP, he said: “They have been politicising the issue and disrupting communal harmony.”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, meanwhile, termed as “an unfortunate act” the killing of Akhlaq and appealed to people to maintain communal harmony.
“It was an unfortunate incident. I appeal to every citizen to maintain communal harmony in the country, which is everyone’s responsibility,” said Singh on the sidelines of 80th birth anniversary of Bharat Kisan Union founder Mahendra Singh Tikait.
Interestingly, while speaking to reporters in the party headquarters on Monday, BJP secretary Sidharth Nath Singh had defended party MLA from Muzaffarnagar, Sangeet Som, who on Sunday had said that people were capable of giving a “befitting reply” if “innocents were framed” in the lynching. Another BJP MP Adityanath blamed the UP government’s “negligence” for the killing.