New Delhi, January 11 (KMS): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Keshav Prasad Maurya, furious at the questions on hate speeches at the Haridwar Dharma Sansad, stopped an interview midway, snatched the reporter’s mask and forced the crew to delete footage, reported BBC.
In the BBC video, the interviewer asks Keshav Prasad Maurya about the Hindutva religious conclave and the silence of top leaders of the party, including UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on hate speeches.
When he was asked whether leaders should reassure people by speaking up against such pronouncements, Maurya said, “We don’t need to prove ourselves. We believe in ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas (development and support of all). Religious leaders have the right to express themselves.” He said, seers can say what they believe in and this is not related to politics.
The interviewer pointed out that it was not unrelated to politics as such speeches vitiated the atmosphere ahead of polls. He also raised sedition charges over slogans raised at India-Pakistan match.
When pressed about genocide calls raised at the controversial religious conclave, he said, “I don’t know what video you are talking about. Are you asking about elections? You are not talking like a journalist. You are talking like the agent of a specific group. I won’t talk to you.”
The Deputy Chief Minister then took off his mic as the video abruptly ended.
It is to mention here that the BJP in its campaign for elections in Uttar Pradesh and four more states has been facing questions about the Dharma Sansad, in which calls for violence and genocide targeting Muslims were made by Hindu religious leaders, many of them flaunting their links to the ruling party.
Students and faculty of the premier IIM (Indian Institute of Management) recently urged the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in an open letter to speak up against the hate speeches.