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Further Trouble

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In a video clip that has gone viral these days, the Jwalapur MLA, Suresh Rathore, can be seen describing part of his constituency as Pakistan, which does not vote for him. He is obviously referring to areas populated by Muslims. It is one thing for the unrestrained fringe elements of the so called Saffron Brigade to indulge in hate-mongering, but for a mainstream MLA of the BJP to think, talk and act in such terms shows the ruling dispensation in bad light. It also attracts punitive sections of various laws, as also scrutiny by the Vidhan Sabha Speaker for violating the constitutional oath taken by him. It is, at least, as ‘reprehensible’ as the letter written to the PM for which a case of sedition has been filed against several intellectuals. The Jwalapur MLA has, in his defence, claimed that there is a part of his constituency called ‘Kot Pakistan’ and he was referring to that. (It is pretty peculiar if this is the case and the authorities should do something about changing the name, pronto!) However, even if he was referring to that place, his speech does have communal overtones and equates Muslims with Pakistanis. This has, obviously, created a flutter within the ruling party and yet another show cause notice is set to be issued to the transgressor. This is only the latest incident in an emerging pattern of behaviour by the legislators of the ruling BJP. First, it was Kunwar Pranav Singh ‘Champion’, then Umesh Sharma ‘Kau’ – both inductees from the Congress, and now it is Rathore. It is a mix of indiscipline, disgruntlement and plain bad politics. This comes at a time when the BJP is trying to walk a fine line between Hindutva and constitutional obligations. It is obvious that the state unit of the party is in disarray, lacking purpose and direction. State Party Chief Ajay Bhatt, performing a dual role, as he is also an MP, seems powerless to make a difference. There is a clear lack of coordination between the party and the government, because of which the leaders seem inclined to go their own way. The ongoing panchayat elections seem to have created further insecurities, as a bad performance is bound to stoke the already visible paranoia in the State Government. It is time, perhaps, for the Party High Command to pay closer attention. It could begin with appointing a tough full time State Party President, who has the ability to strictly lay down the ideological line that everybody must follow.