Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Varun’s Tongue Compounds: BJP

Struggling to resolve a rift between party president Rajnath Singh and general secretary Arun Jaitley, the BJP has been caught unawares by Varun Gandhi’s inflammatory remarks in Pilibhit.

Addressing an election rally, Varun, who is the BJP candidate from Pilibhit said, “If somebody lifts a hand against Hindus or thinks they are weak, (and that) there is nobody behind them, then I swear on the (Bhagvad) Gita that I will cut off that hand.” The two Muslim leaders of the BJP — Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain — have demanded an unconditional apology from Varun.

Former party president M Venkaiah Naidu, however, ruled out any action against Varun. “There is no question of taking any action against him. He is our party candidate.

Whatever he said, good or bad, the party is with him.” He added that the authenticity of the tapes would be verified.

BJP spokesperson Siddarthnath Singh advised candidates to exercise caution while delivering speeches. He said the BJP would decide on its future course after the EC had verified the tapes.

BJP spokesperson in Parliament, Shahnawaz Hussain, said, “We are of the strong belief that Varun Gandhi should apologise.

The BJP dissociates itself from his remarks. This is not what the party stands for.” Sources said that Hussain, who is the convenor of the Minority Cell in the BJP, objected to Gandhi’s speech at the Central Election Committee meet.

Party vice-president Naqvi condemned Varun’s statement, saying that such kind of language did not have any place in the BJP. He said Varun’s speech was a manifestation of his family and the Congress culture.

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