New Delhi, December 28, 2017 An Op-ed page article in Indian Express on Dec 27, 2017 by the secretary general of Lok Janshakti Party, a constituent of the ruling National Democratic Alliance at the Centre has raised a question over the relationship between Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s outfit and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In a hard-hitting article “Hindu rashtra in the making” secretary general of the LJP, Abdul Khaliq, wrote:
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his victory speech justifiably pronounced that voters in the Gujarat election emphatically rejected the poison of caste. But he studiously skirted mention of the cancer of communal identity politics and religiosity that was masterfully deployed by the BJP and clumsily imitated by the Congress. While the BJP dragged the Muslim community into the electoral arc lights with loaded references to Aurangzeb and “Miyan” Ahmed Patel as a Pakistan-inspired Congress CM candidate, the Congress flaunted its “Hinduness” even as it concealed its dubious concern for Muslims. According to the reigning electoral arithmetic, to woo the Muslim is to court disaster. The Muslim is more alone than ever before.
“The killing of Afrazul for being Muslim and the celebratory messages, donations and marches in support of the killer that followed are testament to a social consciousness that perceives the Muslim as the enemy, not just the “other”. A friend who knows Gujarat well, observed much before the election results that despite the enormous hardships caused by demonetisation, GST and spiralling prices, people still repose faith in the BJP as they believe that it is the only party that can deal effectively with the “Muslim menace”…
“A yogi who publicly announced that he will not stop till he turns India into a Hindu rashtra is now the UP chief minister. In his watch, state and religion have congealed into one. He sees no contradiction in using state funds for a Lord Ram statue or sanctioning a Rs one lakh subsidy for every pilgrim on the Kailash Mansarovar yatra even while opposing the Haj subsidy. Despite swearing allegiance to the Constitution, he has recently dismissed secularism as “the biggest lie told since Independence that has damaged the nation”.
The LJP leader further wrote:
“The good Samaritans on the Karavan-e-Mohabbat, a laudable joint initiative of about 50 organisations which recently traveled to the sites of lynchings across eight states to express solidarity with the victims were stunned by the implacable hatred and absence of compassion for the victims they witnessed. They have sorrowfully concluded that ours is a republic of hate.The most chilling finding of those who accompanied the Karavan was that, in almost all cases of lynching, the police had registered criminal cases against the victims and treated the accused leniently, not opposing their bail. The Rajasthan government recently issued directives to students and teachers of Jaipur to visit a “spiritual” fair to learn, inter alia, about love jihad and Christian conspiracies. The literature included a “love jihad rate card” listing the different sums a Muslim man stands to earn for converting girls from different regions. Even the Supreme Court has, time and again, shown an inclination to subordinate issues of justice to majoritarian aspirations in order “to satisfy the collective conscience of the nation”. The fight against terrorism is being systematically used to disrupt the lives of ordinary Muslims. A case in point is Hadiya’s sorry plight which has been precipitated by the justice system pandering to the bogey of love jihad terrorism, thereby stalling a young woman’s basic freedom to choose her religion and her mate.”
At the end of the article it was written: “The writer, a former civil servant, is secretary general of Lok Janshakti Party. Views are personal.”
But the big question is: Can a senior leader of a party in power publicly lash out against the senior alliance partner and the Prime Minister. In normal condition there is no scope to make personal view publicly.
Anyway, it needs to be recalled that, Abdul Khaliq broke down and cried when, at a meeting in February 2014 , the LJP took the final call on aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar.
He had then unsuccessfully negotiated a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
If he was so upset then why he remained in the LJP and the party continued to tolerate him. Or is it that he was then convinced but has now started opposing the BJP at the instance of the party leadership?
The bottom line is that not everything is hunky dory within the NDA or at least the LJP.