BJP leader refers to Gurdwaras as ulcers, apologises after backlash in Rajasthantext_fields
Jaipur: Senior BJP leader, Sandeep Dayma, was heard referring to the Sikh community’s gurdwaras as "ulcers” that needed to be uprooted during a rally in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Tijara constituency of Alwar district.
The inflammatory remarks by Dayma have led to widespread protests, with the Sikh community burning effigies of Dayma and expressing discontent against both, the BJP's candidate and sitting Alwar MP, Balak Nath and Adityanath. The controversy has taken on a religious hue, further polarizing the Tijara constituency, where the Sikh community numbers around 5,000.
In an attempt to contain the damage, Balak Nath issued a statement seeking forgiveness from the Sikh community, acknowledging that a "paap (sin)" had been committed. He urged Guru Gobind Singhji for forgiveness and suggested that Dayma engage in religious activities to become "sin-free."
Dayma, in response to the backlash, released a video apology, specifically apologizing to the Sikh community for his derogatory remarks about gurdwaras. However, he also targeted Muslims in the video, adding a layer of complexity to the situation.
The Election Commission has taken notice of the controversy, issuing a notice to Dayma for violating the model code of conduct. Tijara's SDO and Returning Officer, Anoop Singh, confirmed that action had been taken against Dayma.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee criticized Dayma's apology, stating that speaking against religious places of any community is condemnable. Tensions escalated as protests continued, and the controversy threatened to impact the electoral landscape.
The BJP, accused of attempting to win Tijara through polarization, faces challenges in the Meo belt, with a significant Muslim population of around 70,000. The Congress, sensing an opportunity, fielded Imran Khan, a recent entrant from the BSP, to contest against Balak Nath.
As the electoral battleground intensifies along religious lines, the BJP works to restore order within its ranks in Tijara, convincing rebel leader Maman Singh Yadav to withdraw from the race. The Yadav community, the second-largest group in Tijara, with over 50,000 members, becomes a crucial factor in the unfolding political drama.