Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Jagan Prasad Garg was recently heard raising the banner of revolt against finance minister Arun Jaitley at a jewellers’ meet in Agra.
A video posted by ANI on Saturday showed Garg — wearing a black cap and band — denouncing the excise duty hike on jewellery, and promising to tell Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he must “remove the finance minister and save the country”.
Referring to Jaitley’s political credentials as a Rajya Sabha MP, Garg said, “The finance minister has come through the ‘patli gali’ (back door), not the right way. He hasn’t come through the Lok Sabha (like Modi and the others).”
WATCH: BJP MLA Jagan Prasad Garg controversial remark on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Agra.https://t.co/8g40fpTy1q— ANI (@ANI_news) 12 March 2016
Garg had earlier made headlines for allegedly urging Hindus to avenge the murder of a Dalit VHP activist, Arun Mahaur, during a Sangh Parivar meeting in Agra. At the February 28 event, he was said to have exhorted an excited crowd of followers to “fire bullets, take up rifles, wield knives” (against the Muslim community) in the run-up to the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections.
The Union budget, however, seemed to have changed Garg’s political priorities. Even as voices from the crowd of supporters chanted that Jaitley’s strategy was not in tune with public sentiment, the Agra MLA said, “He is not a trader like you and me. He is a lawyer who earned hefty fees all his life.”
The Union budget, however, should not be a reason for the traders to desert the BJP, Garg said. “You do not have to leave the party,” he told a cheering crowd. “It is the finance minister who has to leave.”