Politics of slander to continue till polls in Uttar Pradesh

  • Sunita Aron
  • Updated: Jul 22, 2016 15:34 IST
Indian protesters gather to rally against BJP official Dayashankar Singh who was expelled from his party for comparing politician and Dalit leader Mayawati to a prostitute. (AFP)

Politicians in Uttar Pradesh neither learn from their mistakes nor from the mistakes of others.

Otherwise, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dayashankar Singh would not have committed the blunder that Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi made. He was not only expelled from the party but will also spend days in jail.

It was in July 2010, when the then Congress president Joshi earned the wrath of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers over her derogatory comments against the then chief minister Mayawati. The angry BSP workers later set her house on fire.

Joshi’s comment was in connection with the government’s compensation to rape victims. She was booked under sections 153 (delivery of inflammatory speeches), 109 (using abusive language) and the SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act and sent to jail. She was also severely castigated for her slanderous attack against a woman chief minister with Congress president Sonia Gandhi condemning it strongly.

Read | Why BJP was quick to show the door to Dayashankar Singh

However, the attack on Joshi’s house by irate BSP workers later toned down the opposition’s charge on her as she described it as ‘state sponsored.’ Instead, security at her Lucknow and Allahabad residences was tightened. She later filed a case in the court.

Joshi is no more the state Congress chief, nor is Mayawati the chief minister. While BSP leaders told party workers on Thursday to convert their ‘anger into votes’ the fact is emotions do not always yield political dividends. The BSP lost the 2012 polls while Joshi won her seat from the prime Lucknow Cantonment constituency.

This is not the first time when BSP workers have taken to the street to protest objectionable remarks against their leader.

In the early 1990’s, late Kanshi Ram had led lakhs of people in a public rally to a newspaper office for objectionable news against Mayawati.

However, UP politics, which has been a witness to such tumultuous verbal wars, touched its nadir when seriously objectionable words were used against a woman leader by Dayashankar Singh.

Earlier, senior Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP leaders have called each other ‘goonda-goondi’ on national television and the political parties have launched ‘thu-thu’ rallies.

And now, with no dearth of irrepressible leaders in every political party the scene is only going to get charged further with choicest of abuses on display. Congress leader Imran Masood infamous for his ‘chop Modi into pieces’ statement in the 2014 polls has been elevated by the Congress. SP leader Nahid Hasan who described Mayawati and Modi ‘unmarried’ and ‘who would form a relationship after polls’ survived in the party.

With no fear of any action, political leaders are filling their armour with choicest of abuses ahead of the assembly elections. Gear up for a verbal war before poll skirmishes.

Read | BSP leader announces reward of Rs 50 lakh for Daya Shankar Singh’s tongue

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