"Where Did Mosque Come From?": BJP Hyderabad Candidate On "Imaginary Arrow" Row

BJP Hyderabad candidate Madhavi Latha has professed an apology "if anyone's feelings are hurt", and also claimed the video circulated online was "incomplete".

'Where Did Mosque Come From?': BJP Hyderabad Candidate On 'Imaginary Arrow' Row

Madhavi Latha is the BJP's Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat candidate.


A Telangana BJP Lok Sabha candidate's gesture at an election rally - pretending to draw and fire an arrow while near a mosque - has been heavily criticised, with AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi slamming the "vulgar, obscene, and provocative" action during a Ram Navami rally on Wednesday

The BJP leader in question - Madhavai Latha is the party's candidate for the Hyderabad seat, which has been held by Mr Owaisi since 2004 and his father, Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, since 1989. Ms Latha posted a statement on X Thursday evening, after the row erupted, professing to apologise "if anyone's feelings are hurt". However, she also claimed the video circulated is "incomplete".

In a 10-second clip that has been widely shared, Ms Latha, dressed in saffron and with a garland of yellow flowers around her neck, makes a dramatic flourish. She pretends to draw an arrow from a quiver on her back, notches the pretend arrow, and then fires the imaginary weapon, at which point loud music is played. The clip online pans to show the mosque at the point she fires the 'arrow'.

After criticism of the video, the BJP leader posed on X, "It has come to my notice that a video of mine is being circulated in the media to create negativity. I would like to clarify that this is an incomplete video and if anyone's feelings are hurt due to such a video, I would like to apologise..."

She also spoke to news agency PTI, claiming a "conspiracy against us (the BJP)... because we work well with both Hindu and Muslim brothers" and demanded "where did the mosque come from?"

"Yesterday, on the occasion of Ram Navami, I was gesturing shooting an (imaginary) arrow towards the sky. I released that arrow towards a building, that's it. Where did the mosque come from?"

"These people (AIMIM) always resort to hateful speeches to side-line BJP leaders here and divert people's attention. They have become experts in inciting the youth. This is a conspiracy..."

However, Mr Owaisi, a fierce critic of the BJP, has refused to back down.

"The people of Hyderabad have seen the BJP's intentions. They will not accept vulgar and provocative actions by the BJP and RSS (the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, seen as the ruling party's ideological mentor)," he said, "Is this the 'Viksit Bharat' that BJP is talking about?"

"Elections have their own place. But what is more important is the peace of Telangana and Hyderabad... the brotherhood, fraternity prevailing here, which they (BJP) want to destroy."

"Am confident Telangana will vote against BJP, which is against peace..."

Mr Owaisi's party has also called on the Election Commission to take action.

Apart from Hyderabad, Telangana has 16 Lok Sabha seats, of which nine were won by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi of former Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. Four - Adilabad, Karimnagar, Malkajgiri, and Secunderabad - were won by the BJP. The Congress won three. The AIMIM got one.

In the 2024 election, all 17 seats will vote on May 17. Results will be on June 4.

With input from agencies

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