A day after BJP leader Dayashankar Singh stoked a major row using derogatory words for BSP chief and four-time UP Chief Minister Mayawati, a sea of her party workers engulfed Lucknow in protest. Packing the historic Hazratganj area in the heart of the city, BSP workers demanded Dayashankar Singh’s arrest.
Pouring in the state capital en-masse from their respective districts and regions last night, scores of BSP workers and leaders held a protest before the Ambedkar statue in Hazratganz area.
The BSP has filed a police complaint in Lucknow, seeking lodging of an FIR against Singh under the SC/ST Act for his derogatory.
Deeply embarrassed over the episode, the BJP expelled Dayashankar Singh for six years, who till yesterday was the vice president of their Uttar Pradesh unit.
Addressing a presser in Mau on Wednesday, Singh tripped all the limits of political decency making an extremely derogatory remark so offensive to be even reproduced verbatim.
“Mayawati gives tickets for Rs one crore and if there is someone who can give Rs 2 crore than she sells it for Rs 2 crore within an hour. If someone is ready to give Rs 3 crore by the evening, she gives the ticket to him… She is even worse than…,” BJP Vice President Dayashankar Singh said.
Incidentally, his remarks came on a day when both the house of Parliament witnessed protest over last week’s shocking incident of flogging of Dalit men by a cow protection vigilante group in Gujarat.
Reacting to the remarks, which were reported in the press by Wednesday afternoon, several leaders across the party line in Rajya Sabha condemned it expressing solidarity with Mayawati. Even as embarrassed BJP expressed regrets over its own party member’s conduct, the issue created furore on the floor of the Upper House leading to its adjournment for the day.
The offensive remarks drew severe flak from members in the Rajya Sabha, including women MPs, with Deputy Chairperson PJ Kurien saying that the House wants the Government to ensure that stringent action is taken against the BJP leader, as per law, for his “unforgivable” comments.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, DMK’s Kanimozhi, Congress’ Kumari Selja and Renuka Chowdhury, TK Rangarajan of CPI (M) and Satish Chandra Misra of BSP, along with other leaders demanded strong action the BJP leader.
Offering regret on behalf of the party, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley termed the remarks as highly condemnable.
“It is highly condemnable that a political leader uses such words against a prominent woman leader. I regret the use of such words and will ensure that the matter is taken up by the concerned. I personally express regret to Mayawati ji and we are with you on the issue of protecting dignity,” Jaitley said.
A visibly agitated Mayawati, who was present in the House, thanked Jaitley and all other members for their condemnation of Singh’s remarks but demanded that BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah discuss the matter, expel Singh from the party and take action against him.
Saying mere expression of regret will not suffice, Ms Mayawati said, “The whole country will not forgive BJP… people will come on the streets.”
(With inputs from the PTI)