Controversial BJP Candidates: Examining a Pattern of Disregard for Marginalized Sections

As calls intensify for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to revoke Kangana Ranaut’s candidature from the Mandi parliamentary constituency due to her contentious stance against reservation policies, The Mooknayak investigates the party’s track record in addressing leaders who target marginalized communities with impunity.
Controversial BJP Candidates: Examining a Pattern of Disregard for Marginalized Sections

Lucknow- Politicians are known for making controversial statements, often as a calculated move to influence voters, even if it means antagonizing another set of people. Consequently, several leaders find themselves embroiled in legal battles, while some face action from their political parties.

When the Bharatiya Janata Party released the fifth list of candidates, Kangana Ranaut's name prominently featured among the 111 candidates. Ranaut has been fielded from the Mandi parliamentary constituency of Himachal Pradesh.

However, some previous comments made by the actress, in which she dismissed the prevalence of caste-based discrimination and criticized caste-based reservation, have not gone down well with some people belonging to marginalized sections. To protest the nomination of the 37-year-old actress by the BJP, netizens initiated a Twitter storm #Boycott_Casteist_Kangana. On Tuesday, the Twitter trend remained a top trend. However, as of the writing of this report, no action has been taken by the party regarding her candidature, and the actress has not offered any clarification on her previous statements.

Speaking to The Mooknayak, Vishwanath Pal, State President of BSP in Uttar Pradesh, said, “The Bharatiya Janata Party is receiving money from industrialists, and in return, it is selling government enterprises to industrialists with the intention to abolish reservations. In that light, it is not surprising that the BJP has given a ticket to Kangana Ranaut.”

As netizens and advocates of social justice wait for the cancellation of her candidature, we examine instances of brazen disregard for the sentiments of marginalized sections by the BJP and its actions against leaders who made unpalatable comments against these sections and minorities.

Daya Shankar Singh: Rewarding the Denigration of Mayawati - The Tallest Dalit Leader?

In July 2016, Dayashankar Singh, the then Vice-President of the State BJP in Uttar Pradesh, was suspended from the party for six years after he made obscene comments against the BSP Supremo and former UP Chief Minister Mayawati.

At a press conference in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh, he said, "Even a prostitute fulfills her commitment to a man after she is paid. But Mayawati, such a big leader in UP, sells party tickets to anyone who pays her the highest amount. If someone gives her Rs one crore for a ticket, she will give it to the other person who is offering Rs 2 crores," the repeated use of the word "veshya" in Hindi compounded the disgusting remarks.

The incident created instant uproar with the opposition and the BSP demanding the leader's arrest and suspension. The BSP filed an FIR against him and protested in large numbers at the Hazratganj crossing of Lucknow, demanding Singh's suspension. Dayashankar Singh apologized for his remarks.

The BJP suspended the beleaguered leader with immediate effect for six years. Meanwhile, the party fielded his wife, Swati Singh, from Sarojini Nagar constituency of Lucknow for the Assembly seat for the UP Vidhan Sabha elections in 2017. In what can be said to be a blatant volte-face, the suspension of Singh was revoked just a day after the declaration of Assembly poll results on 11th of March. The BJP won an unprecedented victory in the state, and Dayashankar’s wife, Swati Singh, also won as an MLA from the Sarojini Nagar constituency of Lucknow.

But the worst part was to come five years later, when buoyed by consecutive victories in the assembly elections of 2022, the BJP appointed Daya Shankar Singh as the Transport Minister of the state. The step was seen as a brazen disregard for the tallest Dalit leader in the country. However, no objections were raised by any BSP leader against the appointment of Singh.

Madhu Mishra: Controversy and Redemption

Another leader who faced a six-year suspension from the party in 2016 was Madhu Mishra, the then BJP Mahila Morcha chief. At a program held for the Brahmin community in Aligarh, she remarked, “Because of the constitution, the people who used to polish your shoes in the past are ruling over you. It was because you were not united.” She said at the event in an apparent reference to the Dalit community. Mishra was suspended immediately from the party. However, her suspension was immediately revoked in 2017 after the party won the Assembly elections the following year in 2017.

T Raja Singh
T Raja Singh

Raja Singh: The Communal Firebrand Whose Defiance Is Supported by the Party

Thakur Raja Singh, a controversial leader of the BJP from Telangana, found himself in hot waters in August 2022 when he brazenly made some unpalatable remarks against Prophet Muhammad, the most revered leader of the Muslim community.

The state government imposed the Preventive Detention Act against the leader, and he was arrested; however, he was soon released on bail. He was suspended by his party for his communal remarks, but his suspension was revoked in October 2023, ahead of the crucial Telangana polls when the suspended MLA offered an explanation over his controversial remarks. Additionally, he was also fielded as a candidate from the Goshamahal Assembly Constituency of Hyderabad, which he won in the elections held in December 2023.

Apparently emboldened by the victory in the Vidhan Sabha elections, his incendiary speeches continue unabated. The BJP has failed to take action against the MLA as he travels outside the state to make provocative statements at public meetings.

It is to be remembered that Nupur Sharma, a former spokesperson of the party, remains expelled from the party for making controversial remarks against Prophet Muhammad, and she has not been reinstated in the party fold as of yet. However, some political analysts point out that in the case of Nupur Sharma, the matter escalated into an international issue, with Islamic countries pressuring Modi to take action against the controversial leader. Lately, there have been speculations that Sharma could be fielded as a candidate from somewhere in Uttar Pradesh. If this is true, then the Party would bolster its image as a defiantly anti-minority party.

Keeping these instances in mind, it is difficult to say if the party would cancel the candidature of Kangana Ranaut from the Mandi Assembly constituency.

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