In an apparent snub to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's warning to BJP leaders to steer clear of controversy, a lawmaker from Madhya Pradesh declared, on Wednesday, that his party would "spill blood" for the release of a colleague from prison.
Ramkhelawan Patel, who represents the Amarpatan assembly seat, demanded the release of Ram Sushil Patel, who was arrested for allegedly attacking Chief Municipal Officer (CMO) Devratan Soni, during a public meeting in Ramnagar in Satna district.
"Mai aap logon ko vachan dena chahta hoon ki Ram Sushil Patel ko hum log Jail se bahar le aayenge, aur unko churane ke liye BJP ko agar apna khoon bhi bahana padega toh khoon bhi bahane ka kaam karenge (I assure you that we'll get Ram Sushil Patel released from jail even if the BJP has to spill its blood, we'll spill blood also for his release from jail)," Ramkhelawan Patel said.
Ramkhelawan Patel was flanked by three other BJP leaders, including Satna district president Narendra Tripathi. When contacted, state BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari said the party had not yet received details about such development.
Earlier today the Prime Minister hosted the first group of BJP lawmakers at his residence and reportedly told them: work for the people, attend parliament regularly and give a lot of time to their constituencies.
The Prime Minister had been left furious after the video of a shocking assault by another Madhya Pradesh lawmaker - Akash Vijayvargiya, son of senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya - went viral.
Akash Vijayvargiya had assaulted a city official with a cricket bat last Wednesday. On Sunday, he walked out of prison to a grand welcome; the day before, some supporters fired shots in the air to celebrate his bail. Party workers who had gathered outside the prison welcomed him with garlands.
PM Modi made clear his disapproval of Akash Vijayvargiya's action and said such leaders should be expelled, "no matter whose son".
The Prime Minister's strongly worded message had appeared to give some Madhya Pradesh leaders food for thought yesterday, with lawmaker Ramesh Mendola explaining away the reception arranged for Akash Vijavargiya on his release from jail on bail.
Madhya Pradesh BJP is on edge over the Akash Vijayvargiya incident, with senior leaders unwilling to speak on the issue. Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is now in-charge of the party's national membership campaign that starts July 6 , would only tell reporters, "Aise sawal na poocha karein (don't ask such questions)."