Massive uproar after Modi’s MP drowns Muslim opponent in communal slurs in parliament
While Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh expressed regret, the opposition were little convinced and wanted the accused MP of either getting suspended or arrested.
Ramesh Bidhuri, a Bharatiya Janata Party MP (ANI Photo)
THE new Indian parliament building on Friday (22) remained witness to an ugly episode when a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked a Muslim colleague from the opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with communal slurs, causing a massive outrage, even from the ranks of the ruling party.
Ramesh Bidhuri, an MP from Delhi, slammed Danish Ali, a representative from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, with Islamophobic slurs during a discussion in the Lok Sabha or Lower House of the parliament on the success of India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 last month.
A video of the incident which happened during the ongoing special session went viral on social media, evoking strong reactions from the netizens. Om Birla, Speaker of the House, warned Bidhuri of severe action if he repeated such behaviour, official sources said. Bidhuri’s remarks were reportedly expunged from the records.
Kodikunnil Suresh, an Indian National Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala was in the chair when the exchange took place.
Defence minister expresses regret
Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh expressed regret in the House shortly afterwards after the opposition leaders slammed the accused MP. “I express regret if the opposition is hurt by the remarks made by the member,” he said.
Opposition slam BJP MP
The opposition were not convinced and wanted Bidhuri to be either suspended or arrested.
“It’s an absolute shame. Rajnath Singh’s apology is not acceptable and half-hearted. This is an insult to parliament, this is a clear case of suspension and Bidhuri statement is an insult to every Indian,” veteran Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, seeking “strictest possible action” against the BJP leader.
The opposition party also said that the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, was suspended recently for allegedly insulting ministers but no action was taken against Bidhuri.
Ali wrote to the speaker that the incident that took place in the new parliament building left him heartbroken as a minority member and an MP. He also said that he could consider giving up his membership of the parliament if no action was taken against Bidhuri.
Mayawati, chief of Ali’s BSP, posted on X, “Although the speaker has removed from the record the objectionable remarks made by the BJP MP from Delhi against BSP MP Shri Danish Ali in the House and has also warned him and the senior minister has apologized in the House, but it is sad that the party has not yet taken appropriate action against him. Unfortunate.”
“BJP Delhi MP is calling another Muslim MP with these words in front of the Speaker in the Parliament Is this the culture of BJP?” the Aam Aadmi Party asked in a post on X and called it the darkest day in the history of parliament.
Manoj Jha, a member of the Rashtriya Janata Dal said he was “saddened” by the communal slur used by the BJP MP in parliament.
“I was saddened, but not surprised. This is the truth of PM’s ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. We need to think that if such words were used for an MP in Parliament, then to what kind of language against Muslims, Dalits legitimacy is been given? Till now, the PM could not say a word on Ramesh Bidhuri,” he said.
“Filthy abusive language used by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri against Danish Ali (BSP) on the floor constitutes the worst kind of hate speech indicted by the Supreme Court. No MP can claim privilege for such speech. He should be arrested,” the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said in a statement.
Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister of the northern Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and a prominent Muslim leader, said in a post on X, “How easily expletives roll off the tongue of this hateful “Hon” MP! Hate against Muslims has been mainstreamed like never before. How do Muslims who identify the BJP as their party coexist along side this level of abject hatred?”