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Business News/ Elections / Lok Sabha elections 2024: BJP's first list a signal for MPs with hate speech record?
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Lok Sabha elections 2024: BJP's first list a signal for MPs with hate speech record?

BJP candidates list 2024: Most of the names in the first list were along the expected lines, but some notable exclusions point towards a loud message from the BJP-hate speeches will not be tolerated

BJP candidates list 2024: Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Ramesh Bidhuri (Mint)Premium
BJP candidates list 2024: Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Ramesh Bidhuri (Mint)

BJP candidates list 2024: With an ambitious target of winning 370 seats in the Lok Sabha elections 2024, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) took the first step on Saturday as it released its first list of candidates on 195 Lok Sabha seats across 16 states. Most of the names in the first list were along the expected lines, but some notable exclusions point towards a loud message from the BJP-hate speeches will not be tolerated.

As per the party sources, the BJP wants to completely focus on the rising stature of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in these elections, and they don't want to give any ammunition to the Opposition to target the ruling party on polarisation issues. The omission of some big names from the first list of candidates looks like a step in the same direction.

Let's take a look at 3 big names that are missing from BJP's first list and their controversial tenure.

Sadhvi Pragya Thakur

Accused in the Malegaon blast case, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur's candidature in 2019 drew huge outrage on social media with the Opposition accusing the BJP of giving tickets to “extremist leaders." The voters of Bhopal didn't agree with the Opposition and they chose Sadhvi Pragya Thakur over former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh.

Just one year into her parliamentarian career, Pragya Thakur made headlines with her objectionable remarks in favour of Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse. While she apologized for her remarks, the BJP high command remained unhappy with unnecessary negative attention. PM Modi publicly stated that he will “never forgive her fully."

The Bhopal MP kept making headlines for her unscientific health claims, remarks against Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare (who died during the 2008 terror attack) and actively engaging in sports activities despite seeking bail on health grounds.

And the climax came on Saturday when BJP replaced her on the Bhopal seat with Alok Sharma.

Parvesh Verma

BJP's sitting MP from West Delhi, Parvesh Verma is son of former Chief Minister late Sahib Singh Verma. The 46-year-old leader is also known for his controversial remarks against a community. During the 2019-20 protests related to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Parvesh Verma made some provocative statements about the protestors.

"Lakhs of people gather there (Shaheen Bagh)... They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them. There's time today, Modi ji and Amit Shah won't come to save you tomorrow," he said.

The remarks drew intense criticism on social media with Opposition leaders cornering BJP on growing communal tensions in the national capital. Parvesh Verma's statement came days ahead of the 2020 Delhi riots, in which more than 50 people died.

In 2022, Parvesh Verma's other statement sparked a row as he asked the people to launch a public boycott against Muslims. Despite his wide influence in the region, the BJP decided to replace him with Kamaljeet Sehrawat, who is an active face of Delhi BJP in the MCD.

Ramesh Bidhuri

Everything was going well for Ramesh Bidhuri until September 2023, when the South Delhi MP made some derogatory remarks against fellow Parliamentarian Danish Ali. The BJP was left red-faced when Ramesh Bidhuri's objectionable remarks were relayed on national television with other party MPs and former Central ministers laughing in the background.

Although the party sent him as the election in charge of the Tonk constituency in Rajasthan (which has a sizable Muslim population), the high command seem to be re-considering his position in Parliament.

Moreover, BJP MP Harsh Vardhan from Chandni Chowk, who didn't find his name in the first list of candidates, was seen laughing when Ramesh Bidhuri was making the communal slurs against Danish Ali. The Chandni Chowk MP also came under some criticism for passively supporting his party colleague in the Parliament.

While nothing can be said for sure, Harsh Vardhan's replacement on the Chandni Chowk seat can be a message that the BJP is leaving nothing on chance in the Lok Sabha elections 2024.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devesh Kumar
I cover politics, geo-politics, economy, and technology and have keen interest in understanding and analyzing the complex issues that shape our world. I am committed to delivering well-researched, balanced, and thought-provoking stories that provides insights into the key trends and developments.
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Published: 03 Mar 2024, 05:05 PM IST
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