Lucknow: BJP MP Sanghamitra Maurya is angry with her party. So angry, in fact, that she has launched an all-out attack at the BJP and its candidate from Uttar Pradesh’s Fazilnagar constituency, Surendra Kushwaha.
Sanghamitra is peeved by alleged attacks by BJP workers, first on her father Swami Prasad Maurya’s cavalcade, and then on her own, in Fazilnagar. She alleged Tuesday that while the BJP talks about “peace” and a “riot-free state”, one of the party’s candidates had attacked her father.
Swami Prasad, a former BJP leader and ex-minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet in UP, joined the Samajwadi Party in January. He is contesting the UP assembly elections from Fazilnagar as an SP candidate.
Speaking to ThePrint Wednesday, Sanghamitra clarified that she had no plans of leaving the BJP, but condemned the alleged attack on her father, as it was an “attack on democracy”.
“I have neither spoken of leaving the BJP nor have any (such) plans. I have condemned the attack openly because it is an attack on democracy. Also, I have condemned this as a daughter. Any daughter in the country would condemn an attack on her father,” she said.
In a Facebook Live session Tuesday, the BJP MP had also said she would not resign from the BJP or from the post of MP, but will now do politics in a “independent manner”.
The alleged attacks
Swami Prasad was travelling towards Phulwaria Market Tuesday, when his convoy was allegedly attacked by local BJP workers in the Khalva Patti area of Chaf village in Vishnupura police station area in Fazilnagar, Kushinagar district. Following this, some SP workers, who were travelling in these vehicles, allegedly got down and indulged in retaliatory violence.
A purported video of the incident, shared by SP supporters on social media, shows seven vehicles that were part of Swami Prasad’s cavalcade being attacked by a group of youth. They are seen hurling stones at the cars, as the vehicles pick up speed and drive away.
Kushinagar District Magistrate S. Rajalingam told the media Tuesday that the alleged incident took place when Swami Prasad Maurya’s convoy, of about 25 vehicles, was approaching Phulwaria Market, and came up against a group of alleged BJP supporters, already present at the spot.
“Suddenly, sloganeering started and it is alleged that stone-pelting happened and we have seen in the video that vehicles of some candidates did not have permission while some had taken permission (to be a part of the poll campaign),” he said.
Following the incident, the SP’s Fazilnagar unit lodged an FIR Tuesday against 15 people, including BJP mandal president Deepraj Kharwar, and several unknown supporters for alleged assault and looting of cash and gold (from SP workers).
What is interesting, however, is that Kharwar has lodged a police complaint against Sanghamitra — an MP of his own party — and her brother Ashok Maurya, as well as several SP supporters, accusing them of assault and looting of cash and gold chains. He has also invoked the SC/ST Protection Act in his complaint.
Swami Prasad had tweeted about the alleged incident and said he was safe.
ऐ देखो भाजपा का असली रूप।
योगी जी आप ने हमला करवाया जरूर लेकिन मैं सुरक्षित हूँ। pic.twitter.com/YLpVOG9QO3
— Swami Prasad Maurya (@SwamiPMaurya) March 2, 2022
‘Didn’t campaign for dad, but now people should vote for him’
Sanghamitra also denied claims of having campaigned for her father in the ongoing elections and demanded evidence of it.
“When I said that I will not campaign (for my father), I did not. While I showed my trustworthiness towards my party, from time to time… those with shallow mentality have been attacking me without evidence. I still say that if people have seen me campaign for SP, they should release its video,” she said, commenting on news reports that she had campaigned for her father Fazilnagar.
She further said she will reveal in front of the BJP’s senior leadership the “khela (political games)” going on in the party’s Badaun unit. Sanghamitra is the MP from Badaun.
“Earlier, my father would ask me to exercise restraint, due to which I did not raise any issue despite having evidence. But now, I will do politics without being restrained by my father,” she said.
Sanghamitra also said during the Facebook Live that if evidence is shared, she will admit to the allegations. She demanded action against those “mentally harassing her from time to time”.
“BJP talks about peace and riot-free state… but its candidate has attacked my father and today, I want to openly say that the public of Fazilnagar will teach a lesson to such hooligans on 3 March (the date of voting in the constituency) and will ensure Swami Prasad Maurya’s win with a heavy mandate and (ensure) that the hooliganism is stopped in their home,” she said Tuesday.
Speaking to ThePrint Wednesday, she added: “Anyone targeting me should first show videos of me canvassing in Fazilnagar. When someone shows the video, I will admit. But just making allegations does not help.”
She also said that she was not scared of facing any inquiry in her conduct if required.
“Sanghamitra Maurya is not scared of any action, provided the inquiry is conducted in an unbiased manner. I am not scared of any inquiry provided it is not carried out merely to target me without any basis,” she said.
Elaborating on the attack, Sanghamitra claimed that she too was gheraoed by party workers.
“I was in Kushinagar when I got to know that my father has been attacked and when I was coming here… I too was gheraoed in the market and when police reached there, the police force in five vehicles saved me and brought me here (the Tamkuhi-Padrauna road, where SP workers had staged a sit-in protest soon after the alleged attack). The Bharatiya Janata Party workers gheraoed a woman… a woman who herself is an MP of BJP,” she claimed.
“Hence, I want to tell the sisters and daughters of Fazilnagar: ‘is baar Swami ka saath (this time, support Swami Prasad Maurya),” she added.
‘No one should give certificate of win’
Referring to reports that her father was heading for a defeat in Fazilnagar, Sanghamitra said no one should be giving certificates of victory or defeat yet and that the public and their votes will decide the same on 3 March.
“Yeh unki baukhlaahat hai.. (this is the furiousness of my father’s detractors). The public and poll process will decide and 10 March will show the result. Those attacking others are not required to give any certificate, they are trying to mislead the public,” she said.
Swami Prasad has contested from the Padrauna seat in the past. However, this year, the SP has fielded him from Fazilnagar, where he is facing tough competition from BJP’s sitting MLA Ganga Singh Kushwaha’s son, Surendra Kushwaha, and BSP’s Iliyas Ansari.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)
Source: The Print