The BJP unit of Amroha cancelled its programme to felicitate 63 party workers who had been jailed for two months after communal clashes in Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh in July.
Local BJP leaders said the event was cancelled because its state leaders are tied up with campaigning in poll-bound Haryana and Maharashtra. The party, however, had come under severe criticism for a similar exercise they carried out in November 2013 with MLAs Suresh Rana and Sangeet Som, who have been accused of involvement the 2013 riots in Muzaffarnagar.
Today’s programme was to be attended by top leaders of the state including state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai. Mr. Bajpai is currently campaigning in Haryana that votes on October 13.
More than 60 BJP workers had been arrested by the police following a clash after the party had called a mahapanchayat in Kanth. The workers were protesting against the removal of a loudspeaker from a local temple. Twelve police and administration officials, including District Magistrate Chandra Kant, were injured in stone-pelting by the protesters.
Five BJP leaders – four MPs and Sardhana MLA Sangeet Som – had been detained on their way to Moradabad. The detained parliamentarians included Amroha MP Kunwar Singh Tanwar, Sambhal MP Satyapal Saini and Rampur MP Nepal Singh.