Row after BJP leaders asked to remove shoes during jawan’s funeral in UP
The BJP and RLD are at loggerheads after saffron party leaders were asked by a crowd to remove their shoes while attending the last rites of CRPF constable Ajay Kumar who was killed in an encounter with the mastermind of Pulwama attack in J&K.
On Tuesday, BJP leaders, including UP minister Siddharth Nath Singh, union minister Satyapal Singh and MP Rajendra Agarwal, paid tribute to the jawan and attended his funeral in his paternal village Bada Tikri. RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary was also present with his supporters.
Meanwhile, villagers raised objection over Siddharth Nath Singh and MP Rajendra Agarwal wearing shoes during the last rites and raised slogans against them.
Amid opposition, the two leaders removed their shoes. But a few angry villagers tossed their shoes and compelled them to walk barefoot to their vehicles after attending the last rites.
BJP MLA from Sivalkhas constituency, Jitendra Satwai alleged that RLD supporters were behind the incident. He said many BJP leaders attended the last rites in the village where a few anti-social elements belonging to the RLD misbehaved with them and this was “highly objectionable.”
Union minister Satyapal Singh and MP Rajendra Agarwal also criticised those who, instead of standing with the grieved families of soldiers, used it as an opportunity for political gains.
Describing the allegations as baseless, RLD’s spokesperson Sunil Rohta said the party had nothing to do with the incident. It was people’s outrage against BJP leaders who acted in an “insensitive way” even during the last rites of the slain jawan.
He said if RLD supporters were responsible for this incident, then how was minister Satyapal Singh seen smiling in a picture with other party leaders on that day.
“Were they not aware that wearing shoes at such places could hurt sentiments of people? BJP leaders are blaming the RLD for their insensitivity,” added Rohta.
A picture of union minister Satyapal Singh laughing with another party leader Vineet Sharda during the last rites if of the CRPF constable went viral on social media. Similarly, the incident of MP Rajendra Agarwal and minister Siddharth Nath Singh removing their shoes after objections by villagers and walking barefoot towards their cars also became viral and trolled by people.