For Dubbing Muslims Un-Patriotic, BJP MP Parvesh Verma Faces Complaint: Inciteful Speech

The BJP, never far from using inciteful speech to drum up a Hindu-Muslim divide, especially just prior to any polls, does it again. This time one of it's senior leaders dubbed Muslims as ‘un-patriotic’, BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma drove the point nastily home. He was reported as having addressed a gathering in Baghpat on Saturday, December 17, stating that Muslims don't — and never will — vote for BJP as it is a "patriotic party". To make matters worse, he then asked media persons gathered at the event why all terrorists are Muslims. Verma also said that "no power on Earth" could stop the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Parvesh verma

A petition has been filed with the Election Commission of India (EC), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Director General of Police (DGP), Uttar Pradesh, and National Minorities' Commission against Verma, the son of Sahib Singh Verma, urging registration of an FIR and prosecution under sections 153, 153A, 153B, 295(A), 298, 505, 505(1)(b) and (c) and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code. The complaint seeks a ban on Parvesh Verma from campaigning in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh elections and demands that an FIR be registered against him. Sabrangindia made repeated attempts to contact the Election Commission and was told that Deputy Election Commissioner, Vijay Kumar Dev who is presently on leave would be looking into it at the earliest.

A copy of the complaint filed by Shehzad Poonawalla, a lawyer, activist and Congressman may be read here:

Poonawala Complaint

The complaint also urges the Election Commission to take a firm view of the fact that a responsible parliamentarian is using inciteful speech to drive a wedge between communities and incite violence against Muslims; moreover these statements, the complaint says, are  aimed to cause great public mischief. “The statements are a violation of the Model Code if Conduct laid down by the Election Commission of India and violate section 125 of the Representation of People’s Act (RPA) which prohibits the promotion of enmity between classes in connection with elections and warrants immediate action under the law.”

Moreover, the complaint urges that both the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Parvesh Verma are in violation of Section 29A of the RPA. Section 29 A deals with the registration of political parties with the Election Commission and this application of any party under section 29(A)1 must in consonance with section 29(A)(5) commit itself (the political party)to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established.’ The complaint states clearly that neither Parvesh Verma nor the BJP subscribe to the principles of secularism and democracy as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

A seven member constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India has just recently concluded hearing a batch of petitions on the crucial issue of misuse of religion and how it taints the election process. Awaited is a judgement, twenty years overdue, on what the restrictions on political parties and candidates blatantly misusing religion for political ends must be.

From about March-May 2016, in what appeared to be a clear-cut exercise to create an atmosphere of confrontation and intimidation the RSS offshoot, in the run up to the UP 2017 state elections, the Bajrang Dal has stated training its cadres in the use of rifles, swords and lathis ostensibly to ‘'protect Hindus from non-brothers'  A camp was recently organised in Ayodhya. Similar camps would be held till June 5 in Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit, Noida and Fatehpur. Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad, an off shoot of the RSS and has faced allegations of rioting and violence against the minorities. Sabrangindia had showcased a video, frightening in its depiction, shows the efforts that continue unchecked in Uttar Pradesh (UP). UP is set for state elections early next year and this is a time tested technique of the RSS-led Bharatiya Janata Party to sharply polarise the state polity on communal lines. Then, saffron rage spitting millionaire Baba Ramdev had stunned Indians with his brazen ‘all those who do not utter the word Bharat Mata Ki Jai should be beheaded’ remark. As bad or worse than the remark itself was finance minister, Arun Jaitley’s pathetic ‘Free Speech is Not Hate Speech remark and BJP president Amit Shah’s brazen defence of the Baba. And of course the now typical Narendra Modi’s maun vrat’ (oath of silence)

All in all it’s pathetically clear that the RSS inspired BJP functions on a political bedrock of hatred and division, preparing the ground with polarizing stereotypes. On this sub-soil of inherently anti-Constitutional propaganda comes the rest of the hyperbole: development or 'vikas' or whatever.

The Times of India has today reported that Verma stated that the "Ram Temple will definitely be built. No power on Earth can stop the temple from being built. We are not interested in or worried about vote-bank politics. However, Muslims have never voted for the BJP and they won't do so in the future either. We need to ask why all terrorists are Muslims and why Muslims don't vote for the BJP. The answer is simple. The BJP is a patriotic party and that is why Muslims don't vote for us. We won't be bothered about any community and will build the Ram Temple," Verma said in Baghpat.

He later "justified" his statement and said, "We don't have any problem with the Muslim community but they have problems with us. Muslims prefer to stay away from the BJP and choose to vote for every party except for the BJP. My question was simple. Why is every terrorist a Muslim and why don't they vote for BJP? That is because they don't want to come into the mainstream and join the development process. Mayawati recently said that if Muslims vote for me then I can form the government. It is clear that all other parties see Muslims as a vote-bank. But Muslims don't even want to become a part of the mainstream. Are their children are taught to vote against the BJP in madrassas? Are they incited against our party?"

NCM chairperson Naseem Ahmed told Sabrangindia that internal guidelines of the commission barred the minority commission from attending any complaint that had been sent to multiple authorities.

While Verma, when contacted by the media, refused to comment, the state UP BJP distanced itself from his remarks. "Whatever he has said are his personal opinions and not the view of the party. We are a party that believes in Prime Minister Modi's 'Sabka saath, sabka vikaas' slogan. We want to take everyone along in the development journey. However, everyone who lives in India should respect Bharat Mata," UP BJP vice-president Suresh Rana told TOI.

Minority rights lawyer and Congress leader Shehzaad Poonwalla on Monday filed a petition against Verma in the NCM and sent a copy to the Union home ministry, the Election Commission of India (ECI), UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and DGP Javeed Ahmed.

On Saturday, Verma told reporters after addressing a rally in Baghpat: “Hum kisi votebank ki chinta nahin karte. Muslim kabhi na hamein vote kiya hai na karenge. Ek simple si baat hai, desh mein har atankwadi Muslim kyun hota hai aur Muslim BJP ko vote kyun nahi karta… isliye ki BJP ek rashtrabhakt party hai. Isliye Muslim usko vote nahi karta… Hamein kisi samudai ki chinta nahi hai… Hum Ram Mandir banake rahenge (We don’t care about any votebank. Muslims have never voted for us and they never will. It is a very simple matter.. why is every terrorist in the country a Muslim and why do Muslims not vote for BJP… Because the BJP is a patriotic party, that’s why Muslims don’t vote for us. We don’t care about any particular community. We will build the Ram Mandir).”



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