BJP sends notice to UP MLA who called for boycott of Muslim vendors

Updated on Apr 29, 2020 12:28 AM IST

Suresh Tiwari, the lawmaker from Barhaj in Deoria district, was on Tuesday heard purportedly calling for the boycott to avoid contracting Covid-19.

Suresh Tiwari admitted to having called for the boycott, saying say he did so as a precautionary measure to protect people from getting infected.
Suresh Tiwari admitted to having called for the boycott, saying say he did so as a precautionary measure to protect people from getting infected.
Hindustan Times, Gorakhpur | By

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday issued a notice to its lawmaker Suresh Tiwari in Uttar Pradesh asking him to explain his comments asking people to boycott Muslim vegetable vendors and why action should not be initiated against him over them.

Tiwari, the lawmaker from Barhaj in Deoria district, was on Tuesday heard purportedly calling for the boycott to avoid contracting Covid-19.

“On the instructions of the [state] party chief Swatantra Dev, party general secretary Vidyasagar Sonker has issued notice to Tiwari and asked him to explain his conduct and why action should not be initiated against him,” said BJP leader Manish Dixit.

Tiwari admitted to having called for the boycott, saying say he did so as a precautionary measure to protect people from getting infected. “On April 18, I was distributing masks among people in Deoria when people complained that Tablighi Jamaat was spreading the infection. Many of them were worried that Muslim vendors were infecting vegetables with saliva. As responsible MLA, I asked them not to take the law into their hands to deal with situation but simply stop buying vegetables from them [Muslims]. Tell me what wrong I have done if I have said such things,” Tiwari said.

Muslim vendors have particularly found themselves isolated and drummed out of business since Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Delhi emerged as a Covid-19 hotspot following a congregation there last month.

Congress leader Ajay Kumar Lallu accused the BJP of spreading hatred even at the time of the pandemic. “When the country is reeling under severe crisis of coronavirus, BJP leaders are busy fanning hatred. It is a shameful act which has exposed the real face of BJP. The Tablighi Jamaatis, who are being blamed for spreading coronavirus, have set an example by offering to donate their plasma to cure patients. I am confident the countrymen will put up a united fight against Covid-19 by neglecting such comments,” Lallu said.

(With PTI inputs)

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