Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra on Thursday said Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi's house in Lucknow was "conveniently" ransacked and set ablaze by members of her own party to divert attention from the derogatory remarks she had allegedly made against Chief Minister Mayawati.
"Making a comment of offering a sum of Rs.1 crore (to Mayawati) is an absolutely shameful act. Very conveniently, they (Congress leaders) got the house burnt by their own people. They have diverted the issue. It is a grave issue and should be dealt with seriously," Mishra told Times Now news channel.
"By burning the house, they can tell the country that whatsoever she (Joshi) said is right. The Lucknow incident is the Congress' own creation, otherwise the whole country might be burning by now," he added.
Joshi was arrested after midnight Wednesday in Ghaziabad for having allegedly made derogatory remarks about Mayawati. Around the same time, her house in Lucknow came under attack from BSP supporters.
Joshi was Thursday sent to judicial custody for 14 days in Moradabad.
"The action is not only condemnable but also shocking. They will have to repent for this. They will never be able to be successful in their intentions by burning their houses. Mayawati has kept the BSP under discipline the whole night. The entire fire incident is staged. We have raised the issue in the Lok Sabha," said Mishra.
The BSP leader said his party will hold a meeting chaired by Mayawati in Lucknow later Thursday evening to "decide the future course of action".
"There will be a meeting chaired by the party's national president to decide the future course of action. It a sensitive matter," Mishra told reporters.
He added that "women and the educated class are agitated" by the remarks of Joshi.