Bharatiya Janata Party was Wednesday left squirming after a senior leader in Uttar Pradesh made derogatory remarks against BSP chief Mayawati drawing severe all-round condemnation and forcing it to expel him from the party.
The BJP Wednesday night expelled its Uttar Pradesh unit vice president Dayashankar Singh from the party as it sought to buffer it against the fallout of his derogatory remarks against Mayawati. BJP state chief Keshav Prasad Maurya sacked him from the party, hours after he announced that Singh had been relieved from all organisational responsibilities.
Expulsion from the party will remain in force for six years in line with the party’s rules, BJP sources said.
The controversy over Singh’s statement against the Dalit leader hit the party hard on a day it was already battling an Opposition onslaught in Parliament on vigilante violence against Dalits, who had skinned a dead cow in Gujarat.
“Mayawati is breaking the dream of Kanshi Ram into pieces. Mayawati is selling tickets like a…,” Dayashankar Singh told reporters earlier in Mau, Uttar Pradesh. “Mayawati gives tickets for Rs one crore and if there is someone who can give Rs 2 crore than she sells it for Rs 2 crore within an hour. If someone is ready to give Rs 3 crore by the evening, she gives the ticket to him. She is even worse than…,” said Singh, who was in Mau for the first time after becoming party vice president to meet party workers Wednesday morning.
Singh’s remarks drew severe flak from members in the Rajya Sabha, including women MPs, with Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien saying that the House wants the government to ensure that stringent action is taken against the BJP leader, as per law, for his “unforgivable” comments.
There was all-round condemnation of Singh for his remarks by MPs including leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, DMK’s Kanimozhi, TMC’s Derek O’Brien, Congress’ Kumari Selja and Renuka Chowdhury, TK Rangarajan of CPI(M) and Satish Chandra Mishra of BSP and demands were made for action against him.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley got up to express regret saying the remarks were highly condemnable but Mayawati was not convinced and demanded that he be expelled from the party and strong action taken against him.
As the issue snowballed into a major embarrassment for BJP, Dayashankar Singh apologised for his remarks. He claimed it was “slip of tongue” and that he respected Mayawati. But it proved to be too late for Singh as state BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya announced that he has been relieved of all posts and said “such language has no place in the party.”
“It is highly condemnable that a political leader uses such words against a prominent woman leader. I regret the use of such words and will ensure that the matter is taken up by the concerned. I personally express regret to Mayawatiji. I associate our dignity with yours and stand with you,” Jaitley said in Rajya Sabha.
A visibly agitated Mayawati, who was present in the House, thanked Jaitley and all other members for their condemnation of Singh’s remarks but demanded that BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah discuss the matter, expel Singh from the party and take action against him. She said mere expression of regret will not suffice and added, “His (Singh’s) remarks apply for his sister and daughter and not for me. The whole country will not forgive BJP… People will come on the streets.”