The BJP Wednesday sacked its new Uttar Pradesh vice-president Dayashankar Singh from all party posts after he made derogatory remarks against BSP chief Mayawati, sparking an uproar in Parliament and leaving red faces in the BJP.
BJP sources said Singh is likely to be expelled from the party for six years.
In Lucknow, the BSP filed a complaint against Singh under the SC/ST Act at the Hazratganj Kotwali and police said an FIR was being lodged.
Speaking at a meeting in Mau where he was being felicitated by BJP workers, Singh, while accusing Mayawati of selling party election tickets, questioned her character, saying her behaviour was worse than that of a prostitute and it was the reason why followers of Kanshi Ram were deserting her.
“Ek vaishya se bhi badtar charitra ki aaj Mayawatiji ho gayi hain. Isi liye Kanshi Ram ke banaye karyakarta unka saath chhod kar ja rahe hain aur BSP samapt ho rai hai… Mayawatiji kisi ko 1 crore mein ticket deti hain. Koi 2 crore dene wala milta hai toh usey ticket de deti hain, aur shaam ko koi 3 crore dene ko taiyyar hota hai toh usey de deti hain (Mayawati gives a ticket for 1 crore which she changes if she is offered 2 crore. And she changes even that ticket if she is offered 3 crore by evening),” Singh said.
A videotape of Singh’s remarks circulated on social networks and created a storm, inviting condemnation from all around.
In Rajya Sabha, where Mayawati was present, Leader of House Arun Jaitley expressed regret and promised action. “It is not right and I condemn the use of such words and I will look into this matter. I express personal regrets. I associate our dignity with yours and stand with you,” Jaitley told the BSP leader, addressing her as “Behen Mayawati”.
In her remarks, Mayawati said she was “grateful” to Jaitley and the Opposition leaders for supporting her: “Outside and even in Parliament, I am called Behenji (sister) by most people. So the man who used this term for me, he has abused not me, but his sisters. If action is not taken against him by his party, there will be big protests across the country.”
She also hit out at the BJP for not sacking a “minister who had compared Dalits to dogs” — a reference to Minister of State V K Singh’s controversial remarks after the death of two Dalit children in Faridabad. “They have not yet sacked a BJP minister who had compared Dalits to dogs. The country will not forgive them,” she said.
“I did not marry and I consider the entire oppressed of the country as my family. I have always followed my mentor Kanshi Ram’s advice to take (donation) from the underprivileged and not industrialists.”
UP BJP president Keshav Maurya, while announcing the decision to sack Singh, said “such language has no place in the party”.
Later, BSP leaders, led by Naseemuddin Siddiqui, went to the Hazratganj Kotwali in Lucknow where party national secretary Mewalal Gautam filed a complaint against Dayashankar Singh.
The complaint stated that Singh’s remarks in Mau had hurt the feelings of BSP workers and Dalits across the country and were aimed at provoking them. Police said an FIR was being lodged against Singh under the SC/ST Act and other sections.
In Rajya Sabha, members were chatting after House proceedings had been adjourned until 3 pm, when Vivek Gupta of Trinamool Congress passed his smartphone to BSP MP Ashok Siddharth who saw the video of Singh’s remarks. He rushed with the phone to Mayawati who was sitting in the front row.
Her colleague Satish Chandra Mishra walked up to Congress members Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and Anand Sharma. Azad took a hard look at the phone before turning to his party members.
Mayawati, who rarely leaves her seat to talk to other leaders, also went up to the Congress leaders who were in a huddle by then.
Shortly before 3 pm, Congress leaders called Minister of State Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and told him about Singh’s remarks. TMC’s Derek O’ Brien showed him his phone. Naqvi then asked one of the officials in the gallery to call Jaitley.
Mayawati and Mishra rallied the Congress and other Opposition members who condemned the remarks and called for Singh’s arrest and suspension.
Azad said though his party had political differences with the BSP, it would not allow such remarks to be made against a woman, also a leader of a political party and a four-time chief minister. He demanded that Singh be arrested and “someone with such a mentality should have no place in any party or hold any office in any party”.
Jaitley, speaking on behalf of the party, said he was not aware of the incident until Naqvi informed him.
The Opposition sought passage of an unanimous resolution condemning the remarks. Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurien said the remarks were being condemned by the entire House. He asked the government to ensure strict action against the person who made the remarks.