This Article is From Jun 07, 2016

'Development Only': BJP Chief Amit Shah Appears To Tick Off Some Leaders

BJP Chief Amit Shah at a press conference today at Lucknow.


  • BJP chief says development is focus of agenda for Uttar Pradesh
  • Leaders like Subramanian Swamy rebuked by BJP chief
  • UP result next year will indicate next general election result
Lucknow: With Uttar Pradesh about to hit election mode, BJP Amit Shah used a visit to Lucknow today to emphasize that the party must focus only on development as its pitch to voters.

Mr Shah's comments appeared directed at those in the BJP who have expressed strong and controversial opinions about divisive issues.

His biggest telling-off was for new Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy, who, in strongly-worded letters to the Prime Minister, has championed the dismissal of RBI chief Raghuram Rajan, who he has described as "mentally not fully Indian".

"The BJP has never said anything about it. It's someone's personal opinion," said Mr Shah.

Foreign investors are watching closely to see if Mr Rajan, 53, a former professor at the University of Chicago, being praised for his policies and attempt to clean up state-run banks, will get a second term.

In a state where the BJP is derided by political opponents for instigating communally divisive issues, Mr Shah red-carded two leaders, union minister Sanjeev Balyan and Sadhvi Prachi, for their recent remarks, describing them as individual takes unsupported by the party.

Sadhvi Prachi, who lost the last parliamentary election, delivered a hate speech against Muslims yesterday in Roorkee.

Recently, Mr Balyan, who belongs to UP, added to the tension in Dadri where 55-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched to death in September over suspicions that he had beef in his house. A lab report last week said the meat had been established as beef.  "A cow could not have been eaten by one family alone. The others must be identified and punished," he said, referring to the 30-odd other Muslim families who live Mr Akhlaq's village.  

However, Mr Shah said there was no wrong done by local BJP leaders who defied police orders yesterday by holding a panchayat in Dadri demanding action against Mr Akhlaq's family for alleged cow slaughter.

It is comments like this that are used by political opponents to accuse the BJP of tacitly showing support for the "fringe elements" from whom it claims to maintain a healthy distance.