Targeting the Congress while seeking votes for his party in Surat, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani told voters to “recognise” the “haramzada” (those born illegitimately) who have “sinful minds” and only want to “harass” people.
Speaking in Amroli where he was inaugurating a party candidate’s election office, Vaghani said: “Hu rajya ni janata ne chetava mangu chhu: odkhi lejo aava haramzadao ne. Jena mann ma paap chhe, jene loko ne heranaj karva chhe ane pareshanaj karva chhe. Aava loko ne odkhi ne, mitron, kamal na nishaan upar button dabavi ne khobe khobe mat aapo avi vinanti karu chhu.”
(“I would like to warn the people of the state: recognise these illegitimately born, who have sinful minds and only want to harass and trouble people. Recognise such people, friends, and press the button on the lotus, vote for us overwhelmingly, that is my request”).
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A similar “haramzada” remark for the Opposition had been made in December 2014 by Union Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, BJP MP from Fatehpur in UP. Campaigning for her party during the Delhi assembly elections, she said: “Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banegi ya haramzadon ki. Yeh aapka faisla hai (You must decide whether you want a government of those born of Ram or of those born illegitimately).”
Reached for comment, Vaghani told The Indian Express: “I used the word haramzada for leaders like Mohammed Surti who was in Congress and had used his political power during communal riots.” Mohammed Surti was convicted for his role in the 1993 Surat blasts.
The Congress plans to file a complaint against Vaghani’s remarks. Surat city Congress president Babubhai Rayka said: “We condemn such statements by state BJP president Jitubhai Vaghani. The Congress party and its workers do not believe in violence because we are followers of Mahatma Gandhi… We are taking legal help and most likely will file a complaint Tuesday against Jitubhai Vaghani at the Surat election branch.”