Swati Singh, the wife of Bharatiya Janata Party’s expelled UP unit vice-president Dayashankar Singh, said on Friday her family was facing threats in the wake of protests over the leader’s controversial remarks against BSP chief Mayawati.
Singh triggered a storm for comparing the Bahujan Samaj Party leader to a prostitute, with thousands of angry BSP workers thronging Lucknow to stage a protest on Thursday.
Police are under pressure to arrest Singh, who is on the run. Rumours are rife that Singh might have fled to neighbouring Nepal or Bihar but his supporters say he might soon surrender in court.
“We have not been provided any security cover and we are living under fear,” she told reporters on Friday afternoon, hours later her mother-in-law filed an FIR against senior BSP leaders.
Swati told reporters that a number of abuses were directed at her family by the protesters during the protest in Lucknow where BSP workers allegedly demanded that both her and her daughter be “presented” before them.
“I condemned the distasteful comment made by my husband against Mayawati but that does not give BSP leaders licence to make outrageous comment against me and my daughter. The BSP leaders have threatened to attack us,” she told reporters.
Tetra Devi, Swati’s mother-in-law, said after filing the FIR at the Hazratganj police station: “My 11-year-old grand-daughter was under so much trauma, that she fell ill.”
Singh’s children, who didn’t wish to be named, said they had stopped going to school because of the BSP workers’ threats.
The daughter studies in Class 7 and the son in Class 4 four in a reputed school in the city. The family has demanded security at their residence.
Singh’s remarks have triggered massive protests and a political storm in Parliament with all parties coming together to back Mayawati. The BJP sacked Singh within hours of the remark with finance minister Arun Jaitley apologizing to the Dalit leader.
His comments have taken a political colour ahead of assembly polls in the state early next year as the Dalit community forms more than a fifth of the state’s population and is likely to prove crucial.
On the back foot, BJP state president Keshwav Prasad Maurya announced an agitation against the BSP.
“party leaders and workers across the state have been asked to take to streets to demand the arrest of BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui and other BSP leaders and workers who used indecent language against Dayashankar’s wife and daughter,” Maurya said.
(With inputs from Pankaj Jaiswal in Lucknow)