NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi read the riot act to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmakers in both the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, saying indiscipline will not be tolerated.
Modi told a parliamentary party meeting that indiscipline by members of Parliament (MPs), members of legislative assembly (MLAs) and, others, who are part of the BJP, will not be tolerated and strict action could be taken against them.
“PM Modi today conveyed a clear message to all the party members that such behaviour is not acceptable, be it anyone. PM said any kind of misbehaviour that brings down the party’s name is unacceptable. He said that action should be taken if someone has done something wrong. He also said that it is applicable to everyone," said Rajiv Pratap Rudy, senior BJP leader after the meeting.
Modi’s strong words follow a recent incident involving BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s son Akash Vijayavargiya, who assaulted a municipal official with a cricket bat in Indore last week. He was garlanded after his release on bail by supporters.
Addressing the leaders, including Kailash Vijayvargiya, Modi said the incident in Indore was against the party’s code of conduct and that there will be no exceptions to such indiscipline. Akash is a legislator in the Madhya Pradesh assembly.
“The Prime Minister said there is a culture which has started in the party where MPs, MLAs and people involved in the organization indulge in indiscipline. PM said that this culture should stop immediately because BJP had come to power to serve the people and there should be no arrogance of power," said a second BJP leader and MP who was part of the meeting.
Modi said such incidents bring the party a bad name and are unacceptable. “If somebody commits a mistake, there should be a sense of apology as well."
This is not the first time that Modi has spoken out against indiscipline by party men. He had condemned Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, a patriot.
Senior BJP leaders believe that after Modi’s speech, the party leadership could issue a notice to Akash Vijayvargiya seeking an explanation. A similar notice was issued to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur after her comment praising Godse.
“Even if people are family members of anybody in the party, such actions will not be tolerated and there will be no exception. Whoever it may be, whoever’s son he may be... such arrogance, misbehaviour cannot be tolerated," he said, adding that people cannot be allowed to get away doing or saying whatever he or she wishes.
During the meeting, Modi also asked MPs to make sure they turned up when the House is in session, expressing his unhappiness at the poor attendance of BJP MPs when the triple talaq bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
Similarly, during a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders after the elections, Modi had advised people not to speak out of turn. Modi had also cautioned MPs against the arrogance of power, and said it would create a gulf between the legislator and the people.
Press Trust of India contributed to this story.