Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and members of the Gurjar community staged a protest against Gautam Budh Nagar MP and Union minister Mahesh Sharma at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday. Kapil Gurjar, the former Zila Mantri of BJP’s Greater Noida unit, who was expelled for ‘anti-party activities’, led the protest by about 300 Gurjar community members. He demanded action regarding a phone call recording that had surfaced last month in which Sharma is heard using derogatory remarks against the Gurjar community.
“We are demanding a forensic examination of the audio. If it is found that Sharma used foul language against our community, he should be sacked from the Union cabinet and the party,” said Gurjar. Three BJP members of the Greater Noida unit were expelled last month for their alleged involvement in staging a protest against Sharma regarding the recording.
On July 28, local Gurjar leader Omkar Bhati had also sought the court’s intervention to register an FIR against Sharma for his alleged remarks. “The next date of the hearing is August 12. We are planning to intensify the protest to mark our presence at the party headquarters,” Bhati said.
Sharma had last month rejected the expelled leaders’ claims and said that those protesting against him were involved in anti-party activities. “I have not done anything wrong to any of my party members. Those who are levelling false accusations are influenced by other parties,” he had said.
The Gurjar community is the strongest vote bank in Greater Noida and all parties vie for their support. The ongoing tussle between the Gurjar leaders and Sharma may lead to a fall in the community’s support for the BJP in the upcoming state elections.
“BJP national president Amit Shah says all party members are equal. I was working for the party day and night, but the party expelled me without giving me a chance to clarify my stand. The party high command is only listening to Sharma as he has power and money. The party high command should either sack him for using foul language or reinstate me at my post in the party’s city unit,” Gurjar said.
Meanwhile, the new president of BJP’s Greater Noida unit rejected the claims of the expelled party members and said, “I am also a Gurjar and this is my party. The people who are trying to defame our MP have become puppets of opposition parties.”