BJP MLA show-caused for comments on Muslim vendors, in video
Suresh Tiwari, BJP MLA from Barhaj constituency in Deoria district, was on Tuesday seen in a video clip telling people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors to avoid contracting coronovirus.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 00:14 IST
Suresh Tiwari, BJP MLA from Barhaj constituency in Deoria district, was on Tuesday seen in a video clip telling people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors to avoid contracting coronovirus.
The clip has now been widely shared on social media, triggering a controversy.
Taking note of Tiwari’s comments, the BJP served a show-cause notice to him and asked him to explain why action should not be initiated against him.
“On the instructions of party chief Swatantra Dev, party general secretary Vidyasagar Sonker has issued notice to Suresh Tiwari ji and asked him to explain his conduct and why action shouldn’t be initiated against him,” said BJP’s Manish Dixit.
Party spokesperson Chandramohan said the BJP had nothing to do with the statement. “The party’s motto is ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ -- something that all of us need to follow,” Chandramohan said.
In the video, Tiwari is seen saying: “One thing you all should keep in mind. I am telling you openly. Do not buy vegetables from Mias (Muslim vendors).”
When contacted, Tiwari admitted that he made the remark, but clarified that he did so as a precautionary measure to protect people from getting infected with coronavirus after several of them had complained to him about the alleged role of Tablighi Jamaatis in spreading the deadly virus.
“On April 18, I was distributing masks among people in Deoria when I came across complaints from some of the people, who expressed fear that Tablighi Jamaatis were spreading infection in Deoria. Many of them were worried that Muslim vendors were infecting veggies with saliva from their mouths. As responsible MLA, I asked them (people) not to take the law into their hands to deal with situation but simply stop buying vegetables from them. Tell me what wrong I have done if I have said such things,” Tiwari said.
Tiwari’s remark drew sharp reaction from the Congress, with its UP chief Ajay Kumar Lallu flaying him and blaming his party for spreading hatred even at the time of the current pandemic.
“At a time when the country is reeling under severe crisis of coronavirus, BJP leaders are busy fanning hatred. It’s a shameful act which has exposed the real face of BJP. The Tablighi Jamaatis, who are being blamed for spreading coronovirus, 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)