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SP ticket for ex-BJP leader Kundanika Sharma with history sheet, hate speech arrest

SP government had begun the process of withdrawing 11 cases against her almost eight months before she crossed sides.

Kundanika Sharma, Kundanika Sharma joins SP, Kundanika Sharma hate speech, Mulayam Singh, Akhilesh Yadav govt, UP assembly poll, Kundanika Sharma Agra North ticket, UP assembly elections 2017, UP 2017 assembly polls, UP news, India news File Photo | AUSU president Richa Singh and BJP vice-president for Braj region Kundanika Sharma with SP’s in-charge for 2017 polls Shivpal Yadav, in Lucknow. (Express archive)

Agra BJP corporator Kundanika Sharma, arrested for an alleged hate speech in March following the killing of a VHP worker, switched loyalties last month and joined the SP which promptly handed her the Agra North ticket for the 2017 assembly polls. But it now emerges that the SP government had begun the process of withdrawing 11 cases against her almost eight months before she crossed sides.

Sharma told The Indian Express: “At least 18 cases were lodged at different police stations of Agra in the past few years regarding protests, agitation and rioting over matters concerning the public and workers.” She said the cases were withdrawn by the state government in the last six-eight months.

Her lawyer Basant Gupta spoke of 15 cases against her. “The state government ordered withdrawal of 11 cases against Kundanika Sharma in the last eight months. While withdrawal applications in four cases have been accepted by courts, applications in seven other cases are still pending in court. Police filed closure reports in four other cases lodged against her,” he said.

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Sharma was booked for an alleged hate speech during a condolence meeting for VHP worker Arun Mahaur who was shot dead in Agra in February. The meeting was attended among others by central minister Ram Shanker Katheria and leaders of the RSS, VHP and BJP.

Ever since she has joined the SP, Sharma has also changed her stand on the killing of Mahaur. She said he was killed by “criminals” and not “Muslims”. “Hamare karyakarta ko kisi Muslim ne nahin maara, apraadhi ne maara,” she said.

“My statement in the speech was misinterpreted. I did not use the word Muslim. I meant to say those criminals should be killed, those people who are killing our children. We should take our revenge,” she said.

Asked why she quit the BJP after a 27-year association, she said: “I was being ignored in the party. The hate speech was delivered by senior leaders but the FIR was lodged against the second line of workers like me. Senior leaders neither contacted me nor took my calls after the FIR was lodged against me.”

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“My family was always close to Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav). But I stuck to the BJP for 27 years. Yet I was insulted in the BJP. I was denied an assembly ticket from Agra North in 2012. On April 16, Netaji called and asked me to join the party. I followed his direction.”

Her father Gopaldas Neeraj, a Hindi poet honoured with the Padma Bhushan, is currently chairman of the UP Bhasha Sansthan, a post which enjoys the status of a cabinet minister.

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First published on: 04-05-2016 at 04:17 IST
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