Slamming the BJP for lending all out support to Varun Gandhi despite his hate speeches, some Muslim leaders have demanded a ban on his candidature warning that failure to do so would encourage many more to fan communal passions in the run up to the polls.
"The manner in which the BJP is insisting on Varun's candidature from Pilibhit.... It seems that it wants to flaunt its communal card and exploit it fully in the campaigning for the coming elections", Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahli, a senior member of the All India Muslim Personal Board told PTI.
"Varun Gandhi's speech, it appears, was an experiment at the behest of the BJP which is now being taken ahead with insistence on his candidature. If he is not not barred from contesting elections, many more such immature politicians would take cue from it and vitiate communal harmony," Firangimahli, who is also naib imam of idgah, said.
Though there is immense anger in the community over the hate speech by Varun, he said "we have made a conscious effort not not to stage any protest as we know that is what the BJP wants".
Firangimahli expressed confidence that the Election Commission would debar Varun from contesting.
Another member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and senior counsel, Zafaryab Jilani said Varun has been made a pawn in the hands of the BJP which is looking to groom him into a "young Narendra Modi" of Uttar Pradesh.