The BJP on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to Uttar Pradesh MLA -- Suresh Tiwari, who allegedly asked people not to buy vegetables from Muslim vendors. Along with him, a notice was also issued to MLA Shyam Prakash for levelling corruption charges against Hardoi health authorities in the purchase of medical equipment.
The conduct of both the MLAs is against the party's policy, BJP's Uttar Pradesh media in-charge Manish Dixit said in a statement, adding that they have been asked to give their replies within a week.
News agency PTI quoting BJP sources reported that its central leadership found Tiwari's remarks "highly irresponsible", and its National President JP Nadda "pulled up" the state brass for not taking quick action. Expressing his displeasure over the comments, Nadda stated that the BJP will not "tolerate" such remarks and said party leaders should not make statements like this.
The sources said Nadda admonished Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh and asked him to take action against Tiwari. Both Tiwari and Prakash are from Hardoi district and have left the party red-faced with their statements.
Tiwari, who represents Barhaj constituency in Deoria district in the state assembly, was seen in a video clip purportedly telling people, "Keep one thing in mind, I am telling everyone openly, no one should purchase vegetables from miyas (Muslims).”
When asked about his remark, Tewari said, "On April 17th or 18th, I was distributing masks and sanitizers among the people. When I reached the boundary of the nagar palika, around 17-18 people came to me and started complaining against Tablighi Jamaat members creating chaos and spreading coronavirus and also contaminating vegetables with their saliva."
"I told them not to fight with them or take law into their own hands, but simply to stop purchasing from them," he said. "There are many Muslim vendors in Barhaj too and I only advised people not to purchase from them to be saved from the deadly virus," the MLA added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently asked people to fight the pandemic unitedly, calling for brotherhood and harmony.
(With agency inputs)