Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Monday likened sulking Bihar party MP Shatrughan Sinha to a dog as he landed himself in another controversy barely 24 hours after the party-led NDA was humiliated in the Bihar assembly polls.
The dog analogy was used by Vijayvargiya, a BJP general secretary and a party strategist for the Bihar polls, days after he was forced to withdraw his controversial tweets targeting Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
Vijayvargiya was asked to comment on Sinha’s remarks that the poll outcome could have been different had he been projected as the chief ministerial candidate and that those responsible for NDA’s defeat “should be taught a lesson”.
“When a car moves, a dog moves under it too, the dog believes that the car is moving because of me. This party is not dependable on one person, it’s a whole organisation and there’s a big hierarchy here. Those who are out of it were on a Maun Vrat and now they are speaking,” Vijayvargiya, a former minister in Madhya Pradesh, said.
The dog analogy was being used by a BJP leader for the second time in recent weeks after Union minister VK Singh did so over the Dalit burning incident in Faridabad.
In 2013, then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi drew criticism from several quarters for similar dog remarks in an interview to Reuters while explaining his position on the 2002 riots.
“Another thing, any person if we are driving a car, we are a driver, and someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will be painful or not? Of course, it is … it is natural to be sad,” Modi had said.
Vijayvargiya said Sinha’s identity in politics is because of the BJP and he alone should decide on his loyalty to the party.
“Shatrughan Sinha’s identity in politics is because of the BJP and BJP’s identity is not because of him. How much loyal he should be towards the party should be decided by him. Causing loss to the party even when you’ve taken so much from the party, that is for him to decide. I disagree with his behaviour,” he said.
Vijayvargiya went on to say that a person is assessed by how he or she behaves during a victory or loss.
“It’s the party’s honest workers who did their hard work, winning and losing happens in a democracy but a person is identified by their behaviour after winning or losing. Everybody’s character is coming to light whether it is Shatrughan Sinha or anybody else,” he said.
Sinha, who has been severely critical of the BJP leadership, particularly those in the Bihar unit, after he was left out of the campaign for the assembly polls, said he was “deliberately sidelined”.
“I am not bragging, but I do feel that when the darling (laadla) of Bihar people, the dhartiputra (son of the soil) and the original Bihari babu was deliberately sidelined, it definitely had an impact on my supporters and fans.”
“I can’t say how much difference it could have been, but I can definitely say, some difference would have been there. We could have definitely got more seats than what we got,” he said.
The NDA got just 58 seats in a House of 243.
Last week Vijayvargiya had dubbed Shah Rukh as “anti-nationalist” for his “extreme intolerance” comment.
“Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he thinks India to be intolerant,” Vijayvargiya said in a series of tweets amid mounting concerns over the “climate of intolerance” in the country.
“If this is not anti-nationalist, then what is it,” he said. The BJP leader later withdrew his tweets after coming under fire.
Following criticism, he retracted the tweet but did not apologise for it.
Union minister VK Singh had kicked up a huge political row when he tried to shield the BJP-led NDA government from blame in the Faridabad Dalit burning incident, saying the “government cannot be held responsible if somebody stones a dog”.
He later made a qualified apology for his remarks.