BJP leaders have been known for issuing controversial statements thereby bringing disrepute to the party. Many leaders have caused embarrassment to the outfit by making provocative comments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the party leaders to refrain from making controversial statements and behave responsibly as they are representatives of the people. Despite this, the leaders continue to make irresponsible statements and malign the party’s image. BJP MLA Surendra Singh created a furore by saying that prostitutes are better than the government officials. While addressing a gathering, he stated, “Prostitutes are better than government officials; at least for money they do their work well and also entertain us by dancing on the stage. But these officials, even after taking the money, don’t guarantee of the work being done.” Aside from the harsh language used by Singh, many believe that it actually highlights the rampant corruption prevalent in our country.
BJP MP Gopal Shetty said, “I did not listen to the statements made by Surendra Singh. However, if he is saying that corrupt officers accept money from people and don’t work, then what’s wrong with that? If an elected representative raises his voice against corruption then there is nothing wrong with it. If any bureaucrat is indulging in corruption, then it is the duty of the politicians to raise their voice against it.”
This is not the first instance when BJP leaders have made controversial statements. Earlier too, many of them have received flak for making irresponsible comments. BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj garnered headlines when he asked Hindu women to produce at least four kids for increasing population of the Hindus to counter the Muslim population. He said, “Give birth to four children to protect the Hindu religion.” Union Minister of State Anant kumar Hegde had said that BJP had come to power to change the Constitution and would do so in the near future. After facing criticism for his remarks, Hegde had tendered an apology. Hedge nonetheless claimed that his speech was presented in a distorted manner.
Maharashtra BJP Secretary Dr. Vinay Natu said, “Every person should make comments based on the basis of designation held by him. And now the government is taking strict action against the corrupt officers. If anyone files complaint against a corrupt official, then the government suspends his/her. Money is transferred to the beneficiary online, so corrupt practices have stopped to some extent but it has not eliminated completely.”
While campaigning for BJP, Union Minister of State Sadhvi Nirajnai Jyoti asked voters to carefully make a choice between ‘Ramzade’ (Born of Ram) and Haramzade (Born Illegitimately). Opposition parties criticised Sadhvi and stated that BJP leaders are trying to divide the country into religious lines. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stirred up a controversy by saying that where a particular minority constitute between 20-40 per cent of the total population, is the one where communal riots occur. Election Commission had forwarded a notice to him for delivering hate speech.
A government servant Santosh Mishra spoke to AV and said, “I was not hurt by the statement but amused by the public admission of netaji about his paid sex experience with prostitutes.”
Why do BJP leaders continue to issue controversial statements when they have received directives from senior leaders to behave responsibly? What message are they sending across to people by making insensitive comments? Union Minister Kiren Rijiju courted controversy by stating that the population of Hindus is declining in India as they never convert people whereas minorities are flourishing, unlike other countries. Congress party attacked Rijiju and said that he must be made accountable for the statements made by him.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “Many candidates have become legislators for the first time and lack maturity; hence, they are issuing irrelevant statements. The Modi government had promised to abolish corruption but they have failed to deliver. And now leaders like Surendra Singh are blaming bureaucracy and government officials so it is unjustified. BJP government has failed to provide good governance.”
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had said that India is a Hindu Rashtra and everybody living in the country should consider himself a Hindu. He added that country can be unified through Hindutva. He stated, “Hindustan is a Hindu nation and Hindutva is the identity of our nation. And it (Hinduism) can incorporate others (religions) in itself.”
BJP Maharashtra Minority Morcha President Jamal Siddiqui said, “People issuing such statements might be undergoing mental problems. In our party also, some members exist who issue controversial, religious and casteist statements. Such people should undergo mental treatment. There is a need to change the mentality of such people.”
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Babulal Gaur made an insensitive comment about rape and described it as a social crime. He said that sometimes rape is right and sometimes it is wrong. Gaur’s remarks had come at a time when there has been a rise in rape incidents occurring in the country. Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij landed himself in trouble after he stated that Mahatma Gandhi’s image did not help Khadi and his image was responsible for the devaluation of the currency. Later, Vij had to withdraw his statements after facing a backlash from opposition and BJP leaders.