Lucknow, April 29 (IANS) After downplaying incidents of indiscipline for almost a year now, the BJP in Uttar Pradesh has decided to crack the whip on leaders who violate the discipline code.
The party, till now, has served showcause notices to three MLAs — Rakesh Rathore (Sitapur), Suresh Tiwari (Deoria) and Shyam Prakash (Hardoi). The party has also removed two leaders from their posts on similar issues.
Talking to IANS, UP BJP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that every party worker is expected to maintain dignity, particularly the elected representatives.
“The BJP is the largest political force and we have a responsibility too. If any worker or leader has a grievance, there is an appropriate forum on which he can raise the issue. These three legislators expressed their views which went viral in the media. All three of them spoke on coronavirus, which was inappropriate since the entire country is fighting against the pandemic,” he said.
Pathak said that the three legislators have been given an opportunity to explain their conduct and action.
Rakesh Rathore was served a notice after an audio clip went viral on social media in which he could be heard mocking the government's steps to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Suresh Tiwari was served a notice after he reportedly asked people not to buy vegetables from Muslims since they were “corona carriers”.
Shyam Prakash got a notice after he alleged corruption in purchase of medical equipment in his constituency.
Asked about taking action against MLAs like Surendra Singh (Ballia), who had made a series of controversial remarks, Pathak said, “They have been summoned by the party leadership and asked to refrain from making such comments. Since this is the lockdown period, the party cannot call the legislators, and hence, notices have been issued to them.”
Pathak made it clear that the BJP leadership was firm on maintaining discipline in the ranks and all party workers should conform to the rules.
The UP BJP has also taken action against a BJP Yuva Morcha leader in Varanasi, whose relative was allegedly involved in liquor smuggling. The leader, Sanjay Gupta, was the district president of the youth wing and has been removed from his post.
Earlier this month, the district president of the Mahila Morcha in Balrampur, Manju Tiwari, was also removed from her post after her video, in which she could be seen firing in the air in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to light ‘diyas', went viral on social media.
Tiwari had said that seeing the city illuminated, she slipped into a celebratory mood and even apologised for her conduct later.