- PM reportedly expressed his displeasure with Akash Vijayvargiya
- Akash Vijayvargiya had hrashed Indore civic body official with bat
- PM said those who welcomed Mr Vijayvargiya too should be removed: sources
Akash Vijayavargiya, a veteran BJP leader's son caught on camera assaulting an official with a cricket bat last week, is in trouble with his party leadership, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying at a meeting on Tuesday that "such people" should be expelled from the party without exception, "no matter whose son".
Akash Vijayavargiya, a first-time BJP legislator from Madhya Pradesh, is the son of senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya.
"The PM was very upset. He said nobody has any right to misbehave or take the party for a ride or show arrogance in public. He used a very strong statement and said that any such act is unacceptable," BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy told NDTV.
Akash Vijayvargiya had assaulted a civic official with a cricket bat in Madhya Pradesh's Indore last Wednesday. In a video clip, the 34-year-old was seen chasing the official and beating him with the bat as policemen watched. The video was widely shared on social media and was condemned by rival parties.
The official was part of a team that was removing encroachments from a colony.
Akash Vijayvargiya, who was arrested after the incident, claims he reacted after some officials of the anti-encroachment team dragged and abused women at a housing complex.
On Sunday, he walked out of prison to a grand welcome from his father Kailash Vijayvargiya, and supporters. A day before, some of his supporters had even fired shots in the air at the city BJP office to celebrate his bail.
Akash Vijayvargiya was not just unapologetic but seemed to hint that it could happen again if he was provoked. "I am not guilty or embarrassed about what I did as it was in public interest... I pray to god that I do not have to pick up the bat again (I pray to god ki vo dobara ballebazi karne ka avsar na de)," he said right after stepping out of prison.
Kailash Vijayvargiya, the BJP's Bengal campaign in-charge in the national election, had downplayed his son's offence, calling him a "kachha khiladi" or "novice" and insisting that too much was being made of an issue that was not big.
The comment, as well as his move to receive his son outside prison, may not go down well with the party leadership. PM Modi also said that supporters who had welcomed Akash Vijayvargiya when he stepped out of jail also deserve to be sacked.
Despite the PM's stern words, a BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh appeared to support Vijayvargiya junior. "These things happen in politics. I don't this is the kind of crime that doesn't deserve pardon," said Vijay Shah, who was a minister in the previous BJP government in the state.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh scoffed at PM Modi's reported comments and challenged him to take action. "If the PM has the guts, let him expel Akash Vijayvargiya," he said.