28th September 2023,Mumbai: Questioning BJP’s Ethics
In a surprising turn of events, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come under intense scrutiny and criticism for its recent appointment of Ramesh Bidhuri as the election-in-charge of Rajasthan’s Tonk district. The decision has not only reignited a longstanding feud between Bidhuri and BSP MP Danish Ali but has also raised serious ethical concerns within the political landscape. Danish Ali, a prominent figure in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), has voiced his reservations, stating that the BJP’s move exposes their true character and values.
A History of Hostility: Islamophobic Slurs in Parliament
The tension between Danish Ali and Ramesh Bidhuri can be traced back to an incident in the Indian Parliament when Bidhuri hurled Islamophobic slurs at Ali. This regrettable incident led to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressing his remorse over the matter. Danish Ali, understandably upset by the past transgressions, has raised questions about the ethics of appointing Bidhuri, someone with a history of making derogatory remarks against him, to a crucial election role in Rajasthan’s Tonk district.
BJP’s Strategy: Majority Consolidation or Polarization?
Danish Ali has openly challenged the BJP’s intentions behind appointing Ramesh Bidhuri. He asserted that if the BJP believes that promoting individuals with a history of divisive remarks can help consolidate the majority vote, they are gravely mistaken. This statement raises critical questions about whether the BJP’s approach to politics is geared towards unifying the masses or if it leans more towards polarization for political gains.
The Parliament Vandalism Incident of 2014
To underscore the significance of maintaining decorum and ethical conduct in politics, Danish Ali revisited the infamous incident of parliamentary vandalism in 2014. He recalled how then Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee took strict action against parliamentarians who descended into the Well of the House and created an unprecedented riot in opposition to the controversial Telangana Bill. Danish Ali hopes that the current Lok Sabha Speaker will similarly address the matter, reinforcing the importance of accountability in public office.
BJP’s Response: Show-Cause Notices and Support for Bidhuri
Unsurprisingly, the appointment of Ramesh Bidhuri has elicited strong reactions from the opposition. Kapil Sibal, a prominent figure in the Congress party, characterized the BJP’s decision as a “reward” for hate speech. He pointed out that rewarding an individual like Bidhuri, who previously attacked Danish Ali with unspeakable words during a special session of Parliament, sends a disturbing message to the public. With Tonk district in Rajasthan having a substantial Muslim population of 29.25%, Sibal suggests that this appointment symbolizes a politics of division for political gains.
A Divisive Twist: Accusations and Counterarguments
While Danish Ali and Kapil Sibal condemn the BJP’s appointment of Bidhuri, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey offers a different perspective. Dubey claims that Danish Ali incited Bidhuri with derogatory words, which ultimately led to the confrontation in Parliament. Furthermore, several BJP leaders have come forward to support Bidhuri and have even called for an investigation into the incident. This difference in interpretation highlights the complexity of the issue and underscores the deep-rooted political divisions in India.
Ethics in Politics Under Scrutiny
The controversy surrounding the BJP’s appointment of Ramesh Bidhuri as the election-in-charge of Tonk district in Rajasthan brings to the forefront a larger debate about ethics in politics. Danish Ali’s objections and Kapil Sibal’s criticism underscore the importance of holding public officials accountable for their past actions and statements. As the political landscape continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how the BJP will navigate this controversy and whether it will have broader implications for India’s political discourse and electoral strategies.
-by Kashvi Gala