Raja Singh's suspension: Is it a calculated risk or a knee-jerk reaction of BJP

BJP suspended its incendiary legislator from Goshamahal Assembly constituency Raja Singh and sought an explanation from him

Rajasinghs suspension

Why has the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suspended its incendiary legislator from Goshamahal Assembly constituency Raja Singh and sought an explanation from him as to why it should not expel him from the party?

Raja Singh, who has been resisting the standup comedy show by Munawar Faruqui in Hyderabad for quite some time, was taken into preventive custody by the Hyderabad City Police on Friday (August 19).

He was set free after the police made sure the show ended peacefully on Saturday. In fact, Raja Singh had threatened to set ablaze the venue of the comedy show charging Faruqui with passing disparaging remarks against Lord Ram and Sita.

Consequent upon the show, Raja Singh released a video in which he passed inflammatory remarks and claimed that it was a "comedy show".

Enraged by this, several Muslim leaders and groups staged protests in front of different police stations in the city including the City police commissionerate since Monday night. The police tried to bring the situation under control even as BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar took an aggressive posture against the Telangana Government, purportedly for a different reason.

When Bandi Sanjay had announced that he was launching a protest against the arrest of BJP activists who stormed the residence of TRS MLC Kavitha Kalvakuntla, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, he was taken into custody by Janagaon police in the morning. He was taken round different places.

While the BJP was trying to cash in on the fomented situation following the public meeting addressed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Munugode on Sunday (August 21), the party legislator scored a self-goal with his utterances in a video.

The almost-instant action of the BJP in suspending Raja Singh has its roots in the Nupur Sharma issue that caught the party on the wrong foot.

The BJP's erstwhile official spokesperson Nurpur Sharma had passed inflammatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed towards June-end which sparked a series of protests. Her comments had such a backlash that India had to face censure and rebuke from international community, especially Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations.

Soon after, the BJP assumed a passive-aggressive posture but finally gave in and suspended Nupur Sharma. She is battling several police and court cases across India. Nupur Sharma is also under severe threat from suicide squads.

The BJP had to take to course-correction on this embarrassing issue and surreptitiously ensure that the embattled Nupur exiled into underground.

At a time when the BJP was trusting that it was able to gain a stronger foothold in Telangana, the inflammatory remarks of Raja Singh came as a rude shock to the party.

The legislator's unsavoury remarks indeed angered even those who subscribed to the right wing ideology. This irked the BJP and it suspended the MLA as a precautionary measure in its bid to flaunt its "religious tolerance" by such actions. How well would it go down with the electorate is anyway something that one has to wait and watch.

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