Amid the row over BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri’s derogatory remarks in the Lok Sabha, BSP MP Danish Ali on Monday questioned the “delay” in action against the leader of the ruling party and alleged that the comments seem to have been sanctioned by the BJP’s top leadership to build a narrative around him and his community.
Mr Ali also claimed that evidence was being “dug up” against him from that day when the incident took place.
Mr Bidhuri’s derogatory remarks targeting Ali during a discussion on the success of the Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission in the Lok Sabha last Thursday have sparked a furore, with opposition leaders calling for stringent action against the BJP MP.
“There is delay in taking action, and evidence is being dug up against me from that day (when Bidhuri made the remarks). I challenge that if there is any evidence against me, then put it forward,” the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP told PTI.
“The pathshala that Danish Ali has studied in did not teach hatred. This is your (BJP) behaviour, your culture. The prime minister had said on the first day in the new Parliament building that people ‘will identify you with your behaviour and decide accordingly on which side of the Parliament one will sit’. The people of the country have seen the behaviour of the BJP,” Mr Ali said.
On his future course of action, the Amroha MP hoped action will be taken and said it should be taken. Anyone who has faith in democracy wants that action is taken, he added.
Asked about Mr Bidhuri meeting BJP chief JP Nadda at the party’s headquarters, Ali said, “If they (the BJP) would have been sincere in taking action, why would they be calling him and asking, everything is on record. Is there a conspiracy to build a new narrative.”
“What proof do they need, everything is on record. From the last two days, it seems that there was a sanction from the BJP’s top leadership for this that ‘you say this’, there is a reaction and a different narrative can be run around me and my community,” he said.
On BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s critical comments against him, Ali said, “Are you talking about the same person who is the molester of women wrestlers. He has been chargesheeted by the Delhi Police. Will he teach us what should be done. People have elected us and we always raise valid points.”
The BSP leader was referring to the sexual harassment case lodged by women wrestlers against Singh, a former chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
Asked about the allegations by several BJP leaders that he indulges in “running commentary” in the House and disturbs them, the BSP leader said this is Parliament and not “the gurukul or the laboratory of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi”.
“We are in a parliamentary democracy. People have elected us and have given us the role of sitting in the opposition. So, I carry out the responsibility of an MP of the opposition,” he asserted.
Mr Ali said he has been raising important points in the Lok Sabha and pointed out that when the no-confidence motion was being discussed, a scroll was being run on Sansad TV on the government’s achievements, and he had flagged the issue. The Chair then accepted it and it was corrected, he added.
The no-confidence motion was brought against the government in the Monsoon session of Parliament.
Opposition parties have rallied around Ali and targeted the BJP on its MP’s remarks.
Several members of the Congress, TMC and NCP among others have written to Speaker Om Birla seeking the strictest action against Mr Bidhuri.